Thanks for tuning in for Paul’s weekly update. This week was dedicated to the details of the planned furlough.

Key Details…

After working closely with our union and our board, we made an organization-wide strategic decision to implement four furlough days over these last few weeks of the school year using a program called Work Share.

Furlough is defined as a mandatory leave of absence or forced stop from work. Our spring 2020 furlough plan includes:

  • 4 furlough days for full-time employees
  • 3 furlough days for part-time employees

This plan was built in partnership with the High Desert Education Association and the HDESD Board of Directors to address the economic impact of Oregon’s $2.7 billion decrease in revenue for this biennium. It allows us to:

  • put kids first
  • take care of each other without losing pay
  • help protect our HDESD program budgets next year
  • reduce the possibility of larger day cuts/layoffs next year
  • access very time-limited Federal Work Share Program dollars


We have planned the following schedule for this furlough.  

  • Memorial Day (paid holiday; will not impact students)
  • Week of June 1
    • full-time employees: 2 days
    • part-time employees (.5 – .99FTE): 1 day
  • Week of June 8
    • full-time employees: 1 day
    • part-time employees (.5 – .99FTE): 1 day


  • Our plan combines the Oregon Work Share Program and unemployment insurance to replace lost income due to furlough.
  • Employees complete a two-page application.
  • HDESD submits the unemployment claim for all furloughed employees.
  • There is no additional application required for the federal CARES Act financial relief of $600 per week.
  • There is no five-day waiting period before we are eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • There is no income requirement as compared to traditional unemployment insurance.
  • There is no unemployment cost to HDESD.


While we are fortunate to have this unique work share financial opportunity, a furlough is a a mandatory leave of absence/forced stop from work that has downsides. It is:

  • not easy
  • not optional
  • not like vacation
  • inflexible (we can’t choose our days off)
  • specific about no work happening on furlough days, which means:
    • no emailing
    • no attending Zoom meetings
  • a lost day; for many of us:
    • the volume of work doesn’t go away
    • we have less time to complete it
    • or, we have hard decisions about what gets done

HDESD and program leadership will continue planning to minimize impact to students and families during the two June furlough weeks. We will provide more detail at next week’s update.

Fireside Chat next week is Wednesday, May 27 at 2:30 p.m.