For immediate release
contact Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650
July 2, 2013
Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton Statement on Education Funding
“Yesterday afternoon the House adopted the K-12 State School Fund budget and the Senate adopted funding for the Governor’s strategic investments. I am pleased that these bills, along with the rest of the Oregon Department of Education budget, are now headed to the Governor’s desk for signature.
“The 2013-15 State School Fund budget represents a critical reinvestment in education in our state, and I want to thank our Governor and all of the legislators who fought to increase funding for our state’s K-12 schools. I know getting to $6.55 billion for our schools with approximately $200 million in additional PERS savings was not easy and required difficult decisions and painful cuts elsewhere.
“Over the past several years, our schools have been forced to make round after round of budget reductions. The 2013-15 budget helps to stem the tide, but it is only the beginning. For most school districts this budget will mean no more cuts this coming school year, and many districts will begin to add back a few teachers or key programs. However, it will not allow districts to add back all that has been cut over the years.
“What this budget does is provide hope and an opportunity to begin rebuilding, particularly in some key areas. In addition to the State School Fund, the Legislature has approved funding for four strategic investments that will provide dollars to support the key areas of early literacy, high quality teaching, STEM, and helping students create a pathway to college. I am excited to see the impact these investments will have in our schools and districts as we support innovation, best practices, and school turn-around efforts across our state. With this additional investment comes the responsibility for all of us – educators, parents, and communities – to ensure that these funds lead to improved outcomes for our students.
“For the Oregon Department of Education, our adopted budget will allow us to make some critical investments of our own, including the creation of a new Office of Education Equity, which will focus on closing the achievement gap and better serving our students of color and our English Language Learners. We are reorganizing how we do business at the state level to ensure we are providing the highest quality service and support to our schools. As a state, we have made a commitment to dramatically improving student outcomes through our 40-40-20 goal, and over the past year, we have developed a plan for how we can turn this goal into a reality.”
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