A series of community forums starts tonight on funding for Medford's schools for the coming school year.

A series of community forums starts tonight on funding for Medford's schools for the coming school year.

The meeting is set from 7 to 9 p.m. at Washington Elementary School, 610 S. Peach St. Additional forums follow from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, also at the school.

The Medford district, with about 12,000 students, estimates it will have to slash about $9 million next year out of a $94 million budget, which begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2010.

District officials have calculated they can trim about $5.5 million in supplies and materials, extracurricular activities and a new employee compensation contract.

That leaves another $3.5 million the district will have to cut.

"In the last four years, we have reduced our class size," said Superintendent Phil Long in a Mail Tribune story last week. "That will probably be discussed. Changing the calendar (as a way to save money) I'm sure will come up."