Oregonian does shoddy work fact checking governor’s budget – schools will suffer

by Dan Lucas

On Tuesday, January 25, 2011 – just before the Governor’s recommended budget was released, the Oregonian ran a PolitiFact on the Governor’s email where he said “the effect it to provide an increase in state funding for the 2011-12 school year.”  The State of Oregon budgets on a 2-year or biennium basis, and so the “2011-12 school year” would be the first year of the 2011-13 budget period.

PolitiFact concluded “Kitzhaber is right, it does.”, and rated the Governor’s statement as “Mostly True”.

Even ignoring the larger reality that the Governor’s recommended budget CUTS the State School Fund for the 2011-13 budget period, no matter how you look at it, PolitiFact’s rating is wrong.  The Governor’s deceptive statement should have garnered a “Barely True”.

The Governor’s budget gives the State School Fund $5.557 billion – a $225 million CUT from the most recent Legislatively Approved Budget (Mar 2010), which gave the State School Fund $5.782 billion.

It also ignores the fact that the Governor’s budget GROWS the Department of Human Services (DHS)/Oregon Health Authority (OHA) budget by $330 million in General & Lottery Funds.  That makes this the second budget cycle in a row where Democrats have CUT the State School Fund and have GROWN DHS/OHA significantly.

School districts across the state are facing big cuts again, and they’ve run out of options.  The governor and the legislature know that schools are one of the voter’s TOP priorities – but that’s not the way they’ve budgeted – including Governor Kitzhaber’s recent recommended budget.

That’s why we’re seeing communities and school districts like Milwaukie, North Clackamas, Lake Oswego, David Douglas, Salem-Keizer, Sherwood, Eugene, Forest Grove, Clackamas and Beaverton struggling to cope with yet another round of painful cuts.

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Posted by at 08:29 | Posted in State Budget | 25 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    I can’t believe people think Kitzhaber II isn’t just more of the same, Kitzhaber 1 and Kulongoski. It’s the same old political calculus. Grow the welfare state represented by DHS and OHA, and push school districts to pressure local citizens for new property tax measures. Sherk the number one job of state government which is locking away criminals who act violently, leaving citizens to incur the property and physical costs of crime. This is same o same o, the same socialistic decline which has been in place since Vic Atyeh.

  • Needhelp

    This brave governor will save Oregon from the right wing extremes who don’t want to help the people who are down and out.
    I applaud his efforts.

    • Alfalfa

      Applause please – attending Needhelp’s asscension to the woodshed.
      ~ Spanky Clause

  • Mmcconoughey

    The federal stimulus helped states to bolster their education spending in this biennium. Since I am not a budget expert, I merely wonder how much emphasis one should assign state support levels for education during a time that saw considerable federal stimulus. Would it make some sense to consider the past biennium’s spending as an unsustainable level for an era with less federal stimulus. Until and if, that is, state revenues revive to pre-recessionary real income levels.

  • Anon

    It’s all about laying the groundwork to repeal Measure 5. They ensure every program other than K-12 is spared deep cuts – then gut K-12 to balance the budget. Then the people cry “the children!” and demand increased K-12 funding. The only way to do that? More property taxes (without reducing any other taxes) and that means repeal Measure 5.

    This has been the cornerstone of leftist strategy in Oregon for nearly 20 years.

    • Conservatively Speaking

      Suffer the little children? Ha! Michael Moorelike…suffer the taxpayer unto the gliberal OEA and other other organized PERSnatchers for unbridled governmentium’s unabated taxing our sensibilities to dearth…including a sales tax.
      Nuts! Decertify most of the plot and set their leaders feats to the fire in well, you know, like perdition!

  • valley person

    Oh for heavens sake. Now that a democratic governor produces a quite conservative budget that lives within existing means, conservatives whine that he isn’t spending enough on schools? What is it with you guys? What happened to bashing overpaid teachers? Get back to work!

    • Steve Plunk

      It’s about priorities. The Governor is propping up HHS at the expense of public schools. Conservatives would switch those priorities.

      The teachers may very well be overpaid but the HHS bureaucrats are not only overpaid but they are delivery less for the money.

      • valley person

        I still don’t understand why you would complain about lower spending for schools. Why not say attaboy and then call for lower spending on HHS as well? Do you think schools truly are being underfunded while teachers are overpaid? That makes zero sense.

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