Rep. John Davis on K-12 Funding: What Is Our True Commitment?

John Davis_2015_thb

Oregon House Republican Office

Representative John Davis Thursday joined other House Republicans in asking their colleagues to reconsider the proposed $7.235 billion K-12 budget for the 2015-2017 biennium, drawing attention to the 7% proportional decrease in education spending compared to the 2003-2005 budget as a share of the General Fund/Lottery Fund state budget.

In the 2003-2005 budget, education funding represented 58.7% of a budget of nearly $11 billion, and K-12 education represented 44.7%. In the 2013-2015 budget, education funding represented just 51.6% of a $16.753 billion general fund budget, and K-12 only 39.7% of the budget. And in the Democrats’ proposed 2015-2017 budget – which represents a 10.5% overall budget increase of nearly $1.8 billion more in revenue than last biennium – education funding still stands below 52% of the total state General Fund/Lottery Fund budget, with K-12 funding lagging at 39.1%.

During today’s House Floor session, Assistant House Republican Leader John Davis (R-Wilsonville) used this floor letter with information from the Legislative Fiscal Office to highlight what appears to be a decreasing commitment to education over the past decade.

floor letter

floor letter

In response to the reality of an additional $1.8 billion in Revenue, Budget Co-Chair Rep. Peter Buckley called for even more taxes, encouraging the House to “boldly raise revenue.” Rep. Davis pointed to the meager 0.3% increase in education spending as part of the overall budget despite nearly $1.8 billion in additional revenue.

Throughout the week, House Republicans have been advocating for a stronger commitment to education spending and will continue to push for a budget that adequately funds schools and provides a quality education for Oregon students.