'I couldn't get into the class because there were too many people'

'I couldn't get into the class because there were too many people' »Play Video
Students cross the street after using a free period mid-school day to get lunch.

EUGENE, Ore. -- High schools in Eugene, like schools throughout the district, are experiencing financial problems. Last year the Eugene 4-J School District closed four schools and had to close a 20-million dollar budget gap.

In spite of the setbacks, the district is committed to giving incoming freshman a solid start in their high school education.

"We're committed financially to having all freshman having a full schedule this year and that comes at something of a cost." said Eugene's Director of Secondary Education, Jessica Moses.

This comes at a cost to the budget, which in turn means that schools cannot afford to hire teachers for students in higher grades.

District officials said that sophomore through senior students are offered all the classes that they need to get a diploma. However several parents voiced their concerns after their students were not given a full class schedule this year.

For one student, a free period in his schedule could affect his graduation later this year.

"I had a basketball class and now I know that I needed a health credit," said Jose Carlos, a Senior at Sheldon High School. "I dropped the basketball class but I couldn't get into the health class because there were too many people."

KVAL reporter Jessica Porter spoke to other students at Sheldon with similar stories. Some kids said they love going out on their free period, others are now concerned with graduating on time.

There are other options provided to students that are behind in credits when graduation approaches.

"We have a night school program too, so if it came down to them not being able to get a class they could still (get the credit)." Carlos said.

The district also attributes the lack of space in class roll sheets to an unusually high number of students enrolled this year. Officials said that they hope to fill some student's schedules as the year progresses.