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June 22, 2009
K-12 Budgets Headed for Final Passage
SALEM – Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo issued the following statement today regarding SB 5519 (Dept. of Education and Grant-In-Aid Programs) and SB 5520 (State School Fund):
“Today the Legislature took an important step towards passing budgets for K-12 education that give more certainty to local school districts and restore important education services. These bills provide $6.0 billion dollars for our K-12 public schools and fully restore cuts to Head Start. I also want to express my thanks to the Legislature for adding back funding for school service organizations like Future Farmers of America and preserving the Oregon Virtual School District.
“Despite the fact that the Legislature was able to add back significant resources to Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education, these mandated programs are still losing almost $5 million dollars in General Fund support. I hope the Legislature can find additional federal or state funds to help ease these reductions before the Session adjourns.
“Although these budgets are not perfect, I want to commend the Co-Chairs of the Ways and Means budget committee for prioritizing the K-12 budget, special education programs, and early childhood education programs that serve Oregon’s most vulnerable children. I believe they have done the best they can for our schools and Oregon families given the economic crisis.
“I know that there are ongoing discussions between legislative leaders and the Governor about budgets for the upcoming biennium. It is my hope any differences can be worked out quickly and amicably so these bills can be signed into law.”
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