Ed Budget Passes, but Is It Enough?

The budget holes of the past 25 years continue to cook up quite a mess for our leaders in Salem. Today, we were served what we bought when the Oregon House approved a $7.255 billion education budget. It’s an increase over the current biennium that pays for full day kindergarten, but it simply still isn’t enough for our kids. It doesn’t begin to hire back the 3,386 teachers that have been lost during the last decade, and it doesn’t add school days to one of the shortest school years in the country. A student that graduates from an Oregon high school will still miss out on an entire year of school in comparison to the national average.

So once again, our gaping budget holes are making sure our kids are not getting the schools and educations they deserve. Oregon’s education budget – and Oregon’s students – are suffering and falling behind because there’s simply not enough money to go around. In Oregon, this has been a problem for decades and the lack of resources is driven mostly by the fact that large and out-of-state corporations are not paying their fair share.

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3 Responses to “Ed Budget Passes, but Is It Enough?”

  1. Isabella

    Therese School in Aurora, Mother Theresa Catholic Academy down in Crete,
    and Providence Catholic High School down in New Lenox,
    all in the Diocese of Joliet, will be closed on Monday.

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    Reply
  2. Milla

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  3. Leslie Robinette

    To be clear, this inadequate K-12 budget only “pays” for full-day kindergarten by taking funds away from students in grades 1-12. There was no added funding for this unfunded mandate. What will result? Larger class sizes, staff cuts, further shortening of the school year, and elimination of more programs.

    K-12 schools used to represent 51% of the state budget. Now they get 39%.

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Oregon needs corporate disclosure

We live in an era of Big Data: By aggregating information about patients, doctors make better medical decisions; by compiling data about consumer preferences, businesses make strategic marketing decisions. Heck, by evaluating data about on-base-percentages, baseball General Managers are making better free agent decisions. From botox to baseball, data helps us make more informed and accurate decisions.

It’s frustrating, then, to see that Oregon’s legislators don’t have access to the data they need to make good tax decisions. Lawmakers are like the rest of the world – they make the best decisions when they have access to good information. Take Oregon’s taxes: Right now, every day in Salem during the legislative session, Legislators are asked to cut this tax, create this tax credit, open a new tax loophole, close this other tax loophole. Special interest lobbyists are asking for all sorts of favors with our tax dollars, yet legislators have no access to know whether or not public corporations are paying their fair share of taxes. Unlike at the federal level, public corporations in Oregon are not required to disclose how much they pay in taxes.

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2 Responses to “Oregon needs corporate disclosure”

  1. Rita Moore

    What are the bill numbers? I’d like to make specific asks of my legislators.

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There’s this thing about the kicker…

Oregon has taken a lot of hits in the last ten years. More than three thousand teachers have been laid off, and an additional thousand instructional assistants have been let go, too. Tuition and fees at Oregon’s public universities have increased 3 times faster than inflation since the 2005-2006 academic year, and tuition and fees for community college students have more than doubled. Currently, more than 1,600 families are on the waiting list for Employment Related Day Care. Though housing data is hard to compile, think about this: At the end of 2012, Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland) accepted applications for one week, for Section 8 subsidized housing in Portland. They received 21,149 applications and held a lottery for the 3,000 they could add to the waiting list. More than two years later, they still have about 1,000 people on the list.

And yet, with all of these cuts – with teachers getting laid off and our students having the second largest class sizes in the nation, with college tuition becoming more out of reach, and with so many families seeming to never catch a break – with all of the growing evidence that Oregon desperately needs more revenue, Oregon will be giving back $350 million in taxes to satisfy our unique kicker law.

What?!

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