Earlier this week, the Oregon Legislature voted to approve an increase of $100 million for Oregon schools, as well as measures that will reduce ongoing employee retirement costs for schools and other public services.
The added funds amount to just over a one percent increase in school funding statewide. This boosts state school funding from $6.55 billion to $6.65 billion this biennium (2013-15), setting an important baseline as the State plans school funding for 2015-17.
Legislative leaders decided to focus the state funding increase in the 2014-15 fiscal year only, and urge school districts to spend the money on added teachers, school days and lower class sizes. For Oregon City School District, this will likely mean the ability to restore a full school calendar in 2014-15, or at least get very close.
We are grateful for this extraordinary support of public education. While this week's vote does not solve Oregon’s school funding problems, or help districts add back all the programs and staff that have been cut as state support has declined over years, it is another important step in the right direction toward stable and adequate K-12 funding in Oregon.
Oregon City School District is an equal opportunity educator and employer.