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.
These cuts don’t just hurt Oregon families—they also hurt the economy. Underfunded schools and services make Oregon a less attractive place to do business, and kids today who aren’t getting the education they deserve will have fewer prospects as adults.
It’s long past time to reinvest in our schools and services. That’s why a diverse group of Oregonians has come together to identify ways to make a difference. Invest in Oregon has just released a report (PDF) that highlights tangible steps the Oregon Legislature can take now in order to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for critical investments.
Over the next month, legislators will be holding hearings around the state, giving Oregonians the opportunity to weigh in on the state budget. Learn about options to invest in Oregon (PDF), and join Oregonians across the state to let our legislators know what our budget priorities are!
Find out when the Ways and Means Roadshow will be in your area, and sign up to tell your legislators: It’s time to invest in Oregon.
Download the Invest in Oregon report here.