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Money borrowed to pay for a school district expenditure. Typically, the money is used for capital expenditures, such as the purchase of buses or remodeling a building. The goal in borrowing is to spread the cost out over a period of years and lessen the cost to taxpayers in any one year. By definition, a bond is a written promise to pay a specified sum of money, called the face value or principal amount, at a specified date in the future (the maturity date), together with periodic interest at a specified rate.


A financial plan that outlines estimates of proposed expenditures for a fiscal year, along with the proposed means to pay for them.

Buses, Buildings & Food

Student transportation, building maintenance, heat, light, custodians, cafeteria.

Business Services & Technology

Information technology, personnel, curriculum research and evaluation, printing educational materials.

Central Administration

Staff salaries, benefits and supplies in the superintendent's office, or for other education leaders not located at specific schools.

Chalkboard Project

An initiative of Foundations For A Better Oregon, Chalkboard is sponsored by a growing list of independent Oregon foundations working to improve K-12 public schools. The founding five foundations include: The Collins Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, Jeld-Wen Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, and The Oregon Community Foundation. The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation joined Foundations for a Better Oregon in late 2007.

Citizens For Oregon's Future

A non-profit, non-partisan corporation working to raise the level of public discussion about taxes and budgets in Oregon by vigorously providing balanced and reliable information to organizations and individuals across the state.

Classified Staff

Employees in positions that are classified according to the duties and responsibilities involved in the work, and do not require teacher licensing. This category would include instructional assistants, secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, etc.


The Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) represents more than 2,000 member school administrators throughout Oregon. These are the leaders of Oregon's public schools and education service districts.

Employee Benefits

Amounts paid by the district on behalf of employees. These amounts are not included in the gross salary. They are fringe benefits, and while not paid directly to employees, are part of the cost of operating the school district. Employee benefits include the district cost for health insurance premiums, dental insurance, life and disability insurance, Medicare, retirement (PERS), social security, and tuition reimbursement.


The Database Initiative (DBI) contains the annual audited data that districts provide yearly to the Oregon Department of Education. The Open Book$ project uses spending, demographic, and staffing information collected by the Oregon Department of Education as part of the Database Initiative.


In Oregon, 20 education service districts (ESDs) provide education-related services to school districts in their regions, ranging from special education and bilingual services to libraries and curriculum. ESDs mainly provide services that districts can't afford on their own through a "central purchasing" advantage.

Fiscal Year

A fiscal year is the accounting period on which a budget is based. The fiscal year for K-12 public schools in Oregon runs from July 1 through June 30.

Licensed Staff

All licensed teachers, counselors, media specialists and other support staff under contract with a school district. Other positions in this category include child development specialists, student resource specialists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.

Local Option

Provides school districts with a way to seek additional property taxes within the Ballot Measure 5 limit of $5 per $1,000 of assessed value. Voter approval is required. The duration may be for 1-5 years for operating purposes, or up to 10 years for a capital project.


The Oregon Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) is a professional organization affiliated with the Association of School Business Officials International. OASBO's mission is to support public education by providing resources, programs, activities and training for business officials.


Led by Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) provides leadership for the state's K-12 public schools. ODE is responsible for statewide curriculum and instruction programs, school improvement efforts, and Oregon's statewide testing system. Other areas of responsibility include: public preschool programs, Schools for the Blind and the Deaf, regional programs for children with disabilities, and education programs in Oregon youth corrections facilities. ODE also oversees implementation of federal programs, including the No Child Left Behind Act.


The Oregon Education Association (OEA) represents about 43,000 Oregon educators working in Oregon's pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools and community colleges. OEA's membership includes licensed teachers and specialists, education support professionals, community college faculty, retired educators and student members.


The Oregon School Boards Association provides services and programs that support more than 1,400 locally elected school and education service district board members. OSBA members also include board members from the 17 community colleges and the State Board of Education.


Public Employees Retirement System, the state pension system for most Oregon public employees.

Principal's Office

Principals, vice-principals, secretaries, and the supplies and equipment they use to perform their jobs.


Sources of income that pay for running and operating a school district.


The total amount paid to an individual, before deductions, for services rendered while on a district's payroll.

School Board

The governing body of a school district. Members are elected by voters for a four-year term, and can seek re-election. Elections are held in May of odd-numbered years.


Materials used to operate a school district. These include textbooks, paper, pencils, office supplies, custodial supplies, material used in maintenance activities, computer software, etc.

Support Services

The personnel, activities, and programs that enhance instruction. These include attendance, guidance, and health programs; library personnel and services; special education services; professional development programs; buildings and ground operations; and security.

Teaching & Student Resources

Teachers, instructional assistants, special education, speech pathologists, attendance officers, school nurses, library services, counseling, community services, supplies, textbooks and equipment. Click here for more details.

Title 1

This federal program provides financial assistance to public schools with high numbers or percentages of poor children to ensure these students meet academic achievement standards. Title 1 services primarily benefit children from all grade levels who are failing, or most at risk of failing, Oregon achievement tests.