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Siuslaw School District grapples with increased PERS costs, cut in local option levy dollars

Posted: Friday, Nov 30th, 2012

Kari Blake

Employer rate hikes to Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) has Siuslaw School district’s new business manager, Kari Blake, already working on the 2013-14 proposed budget, a task that would normally wait until early 2013.

Projections are that revenues will remain relatively flat. At the same time, the district must pay an additional $511,000 to PERS.

“Just under $1 million will go to PERS next year,” said Blake earlier this week. “Right now we are paying $460,000. That will bring us to $971,000.”

In September, the state’s PERS board approved employer rate hikes for the 2013-2015 biennium. With investment income down, employers must pay more to sustain the pension system.

Some of Blake’s grief may be eliminated if $865 million in PERS savings are realized, as planned in Gov. John Kitzhaber’s budget proposal for the 2013-15 biennium, released yesterday.

In a recent speech to the Oregon School Boards Association, the governor said that if the state continues “doing business as usual,” the cost to school districts will increase by more than $1,000 per student.

For the complete article see the 12-01-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-01-2012 paper.

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