District Plans Furlough Days
Due to the statewide economic impact of the COVID-19 closures in Oregon, school districts across the state have been asked to prepare for significant budget shortfalls. The Governor has ordered what amounts to a 17% funding reduction to state agencies, meaning Bethel School District faces the possibility of a $6.5 million dollar budget cut.
In response, starting this week all Bethel staff will be furloughed one day each week through June. This could save close to $1 million that will be used next school year, helping to protect instructional days and staff positions.
Students should not notice significant changes in their Distance Learning routine due to the furlough days, which for most staff are on Fridays. Teachers have been using multiple Zoom meetings, Google Classroom, and individual phone calls to students. They will now condense their schedules and reduce the amount and length of staff meetings because of the four-day work week.
The furlough amounts to a 20% reduction in the work week and, through Oregon’s Work Share program, makes Bethel staff eligible for unemployment and federal CARES Act funds.