I spoke at the unveiling of several new charging stations in front of the Capitol building in Salem. I am so glad that Oregon is moving towards renewable energy.
Community Meeting Notice
Cover Oregon, which is Oregon's health insurance exchange, will be hosting a community event in Eugene. This is a great opportunity to learn more about recent changes in our healthcare policy, and to get your questions answered.
When: Wednesday, July 10th
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Location: Lane Community College (Main Campus) Building 19, Room 226
4000 East 30th Ave, Eugene, OR, 97405
Click here to RSVP
Making Schools a Priority
For a long time, the people of Oregon have been asking their elected leaders to do one thing: fund our schools. You have been very clear that our priority this Legislative Session should be reducing class sizes, bringing back arts, P.E., music programs, and rehiring teachers. On July 1st, the Legislature started to listen, by passing SB 5519.
SB 5519 will give our school districts an additional $1 billion, making it one of the largest school budgets in dollars in Oregon’s history. Through a combination of cuts to public pensions, greater revenue earnings, and shifting resources, we were able to save school districts $200 million, and budget $6.55 billion to our public education system, for a total of $6.75 billion.
Oregon parents have seen our schools struggle because of deep and severe cuts to their budgets. $4 billion in cuts to the classroom in recent years. Over 7,000 teachers laid off. Skyrocketing class sizes. Below, you can see on the graph how much our school funding has dropped, and the extent of the disinvestment in our children’s future.
Source: Quality Education Commission Report 08/2012
While the Legislature did not give as much money to school districts as they need, this budget is a step in the right direction. By giving schools these resources, we can finally turn the corner toward the education that our children deserve: smaller class sizes, more school days, and access to art, music, P.E., and libraries. This is a step in the right direction, and I will continue to work to get our schools back on track. Stay tuned!