Sara Gelser’s 9 year political career: a steady decline in education spending


Oregon Senate Republicans

Betsy Close fought for $150 million increase to Gelser’s school budget

Albany, OR – As a percentage of overall state discretionary spending, classroom spending has declined by almost 3% under Sara Gelser’s (D-Corvallis) watch as State Representative and House Education Committee Chair. In 2013, Senator Betsy Close (R-Albany/Corvallis) aggressively pushed for an education budget that was $150 million more than what was adopted by Sara Gelser and the Democrat Majority.

“As a mom, an educator, and a legislator, my actions are clear: I will work to provide our schools, teachers and kids with the resources they need to succeed,” said Close. “My opponent’s actions are a world apart from her rhetoric, and show that there is always another government program or pet project she would rather fund than local classrooms.”

As a percentage of state discretionary spending (General Fund and Lottery Fund), the amount of tax revenue spent on K-12 education has declined from 42.6% in 2005 to 39.7% today. Last session, Close proposed that the legislature spend an additional $150 million on classrooms. Democrats rejected the proposal, and Gelser voted for the smaller budget.

Starting in 1999, Close served for six years as a State Representative in the Oregon House of Representatives. She was Chairwoman of the House Water & Environment Committee and House Business, Labor, and Consumer Affairs; and Co-Chair of the Joint Natural Resources Committee. She served in leadership as Assistant Majority Leader from 2001 to 2005. She was appointed to the Oregon State Senate in 2012.