OSBA Board approves $3 million for revenue-reform effort, data analysis
Monday, June 25, 2018
OSBA will invest $3 million in pushing for revenue reform in 2019 and to provide cutting edge analytical software at affordable prices for districts statewide.
The investments were finalized Friday when OSBA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved 2018-19 budget plans during a meeting in Bend.
The $10.5 million budget, as outlined by Executive Director Jim Green, includes four new components: a $1.5 million campaign on revenue reform, cost containment and accountability; a $500,000 annual investment in statewide school analytical software ($1.5 million total over three years); about $378,000 in new annual staff costs designed to address workload issues and enhance member services; and $40,000 to support the newly formed School Board Members of Color Caucus.
Green said the new investment in revenue reform was the culmination of years of work toward finding a sustainable means of paying for public schools statewide. He also pointed toward the Joint Interim Committee on Student Success, which is holding a series of meetings around the state, as the path to a funding solution.
“Our members have made it crystal clear that revenue reform and cost containment are their top priorities, and we will continue to take that message to our state’s government and business leaders,” he said. “We will do everything we possibly can over the next year and beyond to ensure that we make the investments that our children deserve.”
Green outlined a revenue-reform spending framework of $1.5 million aimed at the 2019 legislative session. It includes conducting a statewide poll similar to one done for OSBA in 2017, building grassroots support, lobbying and contingency funds.
As part of the budget presentation, Green also proposed spending $500,000 a year for the next three years on Forecast5 Analytics to provide analytical software at affordable costs for districts statewide. He said OSBA’s investment would significantly reduce costs, which vary by district size, for schools to buy the software.
Board members at their January meeting had seen a presentation from Forecast5 on how their software can provide real-time data to guide budget and academic performance decisions and more.
LeeAnn Larsen, OSBA Board president and a member of the Beaverton School Board, said the Forecast5 tools had already helped her local district in making sound budgeting decisions.
“This is an amazing opportunity for Oregon schools to put data to work to improve student achievement and spend money wisely,” Larsen said.
The Forecast5 software is expected to be widely available to districts in coming months, and school business officials will get a preview during their annual summer conference in July in Bend.