Oregon Senate Republicans
Salem, OR – Today, Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) testified in the Joint Ways & Means Subcommittee on Education in support of an $8 billion K-12 budget. Knopp testified in favor of the -1 amendment to SB 5017 that mirrors his earlier bill, SB 642, to give $765 million more to the State School Fund than currently recommended in the Democrat Co-Chair’s budget framework.
“We must stop shortchanging our kids by allocating funds to other state agencies first and giving schools the leftovers,” said Senator Knopp. “Not only does an $8 billion budget exceed current service levels, it allows school districts to invest much-needed resources in targeted, strategic programs that enable students to succeed.”
Recent economic growth has significantly increased state revenue this biennium. Knopp’s proposal allocates the additional revenue directly to Oregon classrooms, allowing the legislature to fully fund K-12 education without raising taxes. In his testimony, Senator Knopp emphasized the correlation between more jobs for Oregonians and stronger funding for state schools.
“Creating family-wage jobs is a key part of ensuring a fully funded, stable K-12 budget,” explained Senator Knopp. “Without a strong economy, we will have to continually place the education budget on the chopping block. The legislature needs to focus on creating jobs and growing the economy so we don’t fall short in funding our schools.”
Superintendents and educators across Oregon expressed their support for an $8 billion State School Fund budget.
“During my seven years as superintendent of Bend-La Pine Schools I have watched the continued decline in the portion of our available state resources going towards our schools,” said Ron Wilkinson, Bend-La Pine School District Superintendent. “I see this bill as one of the first genuine efforts to put money along with the words and make K-12 education a priority in our state again. $8 billion strategically invested in our schools will truly make a difference for kids.”