School budget forum is tonight

The third and final community forum on the Medford School District budget is set for 6 p.m. today at Roosevelt Elementary School, 1212 Queen Anne Ave., Medford.

The $102.4 million budget proposal increases spending $8.8 million, or 9.4 percent, from current spending levels. It includes a full year of instruction for students, continuation of core academics and enrichment programs such as music, the arts and athletics. It provides support for students with disabilities, those who are learning English as a second language and those who are struggling with their studies, as well as improved security features at all schools, officials said.

Medford schools Superintendent Phil Long called it "a modest budget," and cautioned that there are still unknowns, including a "kicker" tax refund that could reduce state funding; the outcome of contract bargaining with teachers; the cost of security upgrades; and the budgetary effects of the proposed VIBES charter school.

Tonight's forum will be simultaneously interpreted in Spanish. All district patrons are welcome. Previous community forums were held April 24 and April 27.

The budget committee meets again at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in the board meeting room at the District Education Center. Public comment will be heard.

The School Board will have a budget hearing at 7 p.m. Monday, June 3, then adopt the budget on Monday, June 10. These meetings will be held at the District Education Center in the board room.

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