It’s time to invest in Oregon

The recession hit Oregon hard. As thousands lost their jobs, tax revenues declined and the state had to make painful cuts to schools and critical services. Thousands of teachers were laid off and class sizes ballooned, and programs failed to keep up with the growing needs of seniors and the most vulnerable.

Years later, we’re still seeing the effects of those cuts all around us – Oregon has one of the nation’s shortest schools years, biggest class sizes, and lowest high school graduation rates. Thousands of families are eligible for assistance paying for childcare and other necessities, but insufficient resources means long waiting lists.


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Improving our economy, one bill at a time

Economists say our economy is recovering – but for who?

Many parts of the state are seeing high unemployment rates, and in the areas where jobs are available, they don’t pay enough to support a family. Many Oregonians want to work, but their jobs aren’t working for them: Wages have been cut, hours and benefits have been slashed, and families are left on the brink of collapse, forced to rely on publicly funded programs to make ends meet. One in four workers in Oregon earns less than $12 an hour, and one in four Oregonians receives food stamps. On the other hand, large corporations are seeing higher profits than ever before. (more…)

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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. 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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