Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Kate Brown is preparing state departments for budget cuts—including the Oregon Department of Education. For the Bethel School District, a 17% reduction in state funding would be a $6.5 million dollar budget cut.
In order to preserve funds, all Bethel School District employees will be furloughed one day a week, now through June. Bethel students will also switch to a four-day week.
The district estimates this could save roughly $1 million for next school year. The adjustment also makes the district eligible for Oregon's Work Share program, and makes Bethel staff eligible for unemployment and federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds.