Senator Knopp votes to increase school funding

Sen. Tim Knopp_thb

Sen. Tim Knopp

Students Denied Increased Funding By Democrats on Party Line Vote

Salem, OR – Senator Tim Knopp voted to increase the K-12 budgets totaling $7 billion dollars.  In an effort to help the struggling school districts throughout Oregon Sen. Knopp was joined with his fellow Senate Republicans. However, Senate Democrats were OK with a status quo budget of $6.55 billion that ensures a shortened school year and larger class sizes for many districts around the state.

“Colleagues I have been visiting with both of my school districts, Bend-La Pine and Redmond.” Knopp continues “I will sound like a broken record, we have class sizes, I have seen class sizes of more than 50 kids, and I have seen elementary class sizes of more than 35 pushing 40. This budget, at $6.55 billion, is kind of a status quo for both of my school districts. Even with more money overall than last years’ budget we are left with status quo or worse for our students. We demand better.”

The increase in the K-12 budget totaling $7 billion would come from Senate Bill 854, which included Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) savings. If passed, it would have helped struggling school districts keep more school days on the calendar and more teachers in the class room.  However, Democrats blocked this vote on a party line vote and left with a budget that is inadequate.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Education, OR 77th Legislative Session, Oregon Senate, State Budget | 36 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    It’s time to stop feeding the public school monster increasing amounts, which are only scarf down to happily by employee and administrative monopolies/bureaucracies with little more to offer their captive school customers. Inject new school choice alternatives instead, and put the employee monopolies/bureaucracies on an overdue diet of humbling competitive pie.

  • Steve Buckstein

    Tim, public schools may be underfunded (though I doubt it), but underfunding cannot and should not be justified by deferring to the Quality Education Model (QEM) as at least one Republican Senator did on the floor yesterday.

    Even though voters approved requiring the legislature to fund public schools up to the Model level or provide a written explanation of why you did not, the Model offers no certainty that spending what it requires will do anything to improve educational outcomes.

    Cascade researched the QEM shortly after it was created and documented its faults in this report: “Money for Nothing”,

  • Nopublicschools

    It is time to open up to unlimited charter schools, easier to home school and start defunding public schools. lets quit letting the state decide where the education money goes. obviously our legislators don’t have a clue. need to try something different since it isn’t working. obviously we are all insane to continuing to do over and over what doesn’t work looking for a better outcome. lets start with removing required attendance. quit forced education. if people want their children educated leave it up to them to decide how to do it. if children don’t want to be in a classroom let them go elsewhere. nobody benefits from forced education. When was the last time a child forced to learn went on to do something great? typically they dropout anyway either by doing enough to get by ( a D gets you out of school) or quitting altogether. lets quit public funding of a gigantic babysitting service. While we are at it lets do something really radical ( which will never go over but it is a nice thought) remove the guaranteed lifetime employment of teachers. Is there any other occupation where you have unconditional lifetime employment?

    • 3H

      ” When was the last time a child forced to learn went on to do something great?”

      Nobel Prize laureates by secondary school affiliation (Wikipedia)

      These are just the ones that went to a public high school. Presumably many children who went to private school also went on to do something great despite being forced to go to school by their parents.

      • No[publicschools

        You missed the point but reiterated it with your last three words “by their parents”. Not the state. perhaps there is hope for you yet.

        • 3H

          But you have no way of know which parents voluntarily send their children to school (which would, as a guess, be the vast majority) and which send their children to school because it is the law. Further, you have no idea of which of those children (forced by state or parents) go on to do something truly great.

          How many of the Nobel Prize winners in the link belong to which group? Other than conjecture, you really have no idea.

          Are there any developed countries in the world that don’t have some form of compulsory education? Are there any modern, and current, examples of any nation that follows a model that you advocate? If not, why do you think that is?

          • Steve Buckstein

            3H, while we don’t know which specific parents voluntarily send their kids to which schools, we do have 2009 poll results which found:

            “Nearly nine out of ten Oregon residents would send their children to private, charter, or virtual schools, or educate their children in a home school setting if they had the decision-making
            authority, according to the results of a public opinion survey by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the Cascade Policy Institute, and several other state and national organizations. Eighty-seven percent of residents polled would opt for schools other than regular public schools, according to the survey.

            The entire poll is here:

          • Steve Buckstein

            3H, I’m not sure if there are “any developed countries in the world that don’t have some form of compulsory education.” But a number of countries do allow much more school choice than America. A number of European “social democracies” for example let public money follow children to schools of their parents’ choice, including private and religious schools. France, Spain and Denmark are just a few with such options.

          • 3H

            I would think, at the very least, some changes would have to be made to the Oregon constitution before public monies could be spent on religious education. That might make an interesting article for debate (hint, hint).
            If tuition money, tax money, follow a student, the state would need to ensure that certain standards are met and maintained? Would schools, do you think, be required to accept students, and not just dump “problem” students into public schools? Would private schools accepting public monies be allowed to discriminate?

          • Steve Buckstein

            3H, there has already been a lot of work done on your first question. Vouchers would likely not be constitutional in Oregon, but tax credits likely would be constitutional. All your other questions have been discussed at length here and elsewhere and likely will be in the future…just not right now.

          • 3H

            No, of course not. Later, at a much better time. :)

  • Sally

    I am a teacher and I don’t make enough money. This increased funding should help me obtain a living wage for my family. My husband is out of work as he has a bad back, so we must live on my 65K. It is not easy, believe me. I only hope this will allow me to get a raise as we have car payments, house payments, and our food costs are going through the roof. I am a professional and thus should be paid the same as anyone else who has a Masters degree.
    Thanks Oregon! You have helped me and my family and we are certainly appreciative of that fact.

    • .

      Oh you Clem Kaddiddlehopper faux pas Oregon Trail Card-ly hardly eligible nonsensecompooper!

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