Salem-Keizer Public Schools Board Considers In-Person Budget Hearings

The Salem-Keizer Public Schools Board of Trustees will meet virtually at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Among other items on the agenda, the board plans to vote on whether the budget committee can start meeting in person.

The Salem-Keizer School Board has been meeting virtually for months, citing safety concerns as tensions mount at public meetings and reports of instances of harassment occurring among community members in attendance. President Osvaldo Avila clarified in November that the return to virtual meetings was unrelated to COVID-19.

On May 3, Salem-Keizer Superintendent Christy Perry proposed a 2022-23 budget of $1.36 billion to the district budget committee, highlighting allocations for things like expanding bilingual programs. , addressing mental and behavioral health issues, and creating a fund to make the replacement of school supplies fair.

From now on, the district budget committee made up of the seven school board directors, plus seven appointed community members is responsible for approving the budget, after which the school board will vote to adopt it. Meetings will be held over the next month, allowing the public to comment on the proposal.

  • tuesday may 17: Deliberations, public comments.
  • Monday May 23: Public comments and deliberations until approved/recommended to school board for adoption.
  • Tuesday/Wednesday 24/25 May: Provisional; the meeting(s) will only take place if the budget is not approved by May 23, public comments may or may not be received.
  • Additional meetings may be required if the budget is not approved or recommended to the school board for adoption by May 25.

Public comments for next Tuesday’s regular Board meeting will be accepted via Zoom, call or written submission.

In response to feedback the school board has received about who has the opportunity to be selected to speak, district officials said the board is testing a new procedure. A lottery system will be used to select speakers at random, first for items on the agenda, then for items that are not on the agenda.

Viewers can watch Tuesday’s meeting on YouTube in English or Spanish via Capital Community Media.

Contact Natalie Pate, education reporter for the Statesman Journal, at [email protected], 503-399-6745, Twitter @NataliePateGwinor Facebook at

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