Oregon schools won’t get $79.1 million from Kicker as mandated by Oregon Constitution
Oregon Senate Republicans
Salem, OR – Following a release from left-wing activist group Our Oregon, Senate Republicans drew attention to an abuse of Oregon’s corporate kicker system: Democrat leaders intentionally underfunded K-12 education and refused to use money from the corporate kicker to increase funding for K-12 education, as directed by Oregon voters.
Instead, they used the corporate kicker to fund pet partisan priorities, not Oregon classrooms.
Measure 85, approved in 2012, amended the Oregon Constitution to require any excess revenue from corporate taxes be used to “provide additional funding for public education.” However, Democrats never included the millions Oregon schools were expected to receive from this year’s kicker in the final Democrat-approved 2015-2017 budget. State economists announced in August that the corporate kicker would provide $79.1 million for Oregon schools. Not sending that money to Oregon schools violates the Oregon Constitution and leaves Oregon’s school children robbed of smaller class sizes, additional programs and longer school years, argued Senate Republicans.
“Democrat leaders thought they could fool Oregonians and ignore our state’s Constitution,” explained Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). “Now that the corporate kicker has ‘kicked,’ Democrats want Oregonians to believe that $71.9 million from the corporate kicker is going to schools. It’s not.”
“Democrats diverted the corporate kicker to the general fund and expected no one to notice that the $79.1 million was supposed to be ‘in addition to’ the K-12 appropriation, not ‘a part of’ the K-12 appropriation,” continued Ferrioli. “This deception defies the will of Oregon voters and the Oregon constitution. It is a slap in the face to the business community who campaigned for the corporate kicker to fund education. Democrats are ripping off schools and shortchanging our kids. It’s a theft, but in this instance it’s real money that could hire more teachers and reduce class sizes in every Oregon school.”
Our Oregon recently released the following statement:
And thanks to Measure 85, the state economist just reported $92 million [sic] that would have gone to mostly out-of-state corporations will now go to schools. That revenue will directly impact students across the state.
“Democrats underfunded K-12 education by hundreds of millions of dollars this year,” said Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “Now Democrats are trying to take credit for millions from the corporate kicker that should be going to schools but isn’t. Democrats are breaking the faith and possibly breaking the law by not making a real appropriation to K-12 from the corporate kicker as Oregon voters intended. I’m asking the Co-Chairs of the Emergency Board to do the right thing and give K-12 their lawful funds from the corporate kicker. So far all we’ve seen is a backfill sleight-of-hand scam.”
“If Democrat leaders are serious about honoring the will of Oregon voters to send corporate kicker funds to schools, the Democrat-controlled legislative Emergency Board should immediately add $79.1 million to the State School Fund and prove they are willing to follow the law and put kids first,” echoed Ferrioli.