Oregon Senate Republicans
Bipartisan Committee Says Majority Democrats Left Education $1.8 Billion Short
Salem, Ore. – On Thursday, the Joint Special Committee on Public Education Appropriation revised an earlier assessment of K-12 education funding, approving a report stating Oregon schools were underfunded by $29 million more than originally believed.
“We were appalled in November to hear once again that the Democrat legislature egregiously underfunded our schools by over $1.785 billion dollars,” said Senator Fred Girod (R-Stayton), member of the Joint Special Committee. “To learn our school funding situation is worse than we thought is tough to swallow. If our colleagues across the aisle don’t start putting K-12 education first, we will never reverse abysmal graduation rates and student achievement levels.”
In November, the Committee reviewed and approved a report stating the 2015 legislature, led by Democrat majorities, underfunded K-12 education in Oregon by $1.785 billion. Now, that number appears to be $1.814 billion.
Senators Arnie Roblan (D) and Rod Monroe (D) both voted to approve the report acknowledging their underinvestment in education.
“Republicans advocated tirelessly for full funding for K-12 education during the 2015 session,” explained Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “If Democrats had been willing to sacrifice their pet partisan policies, we could have allocated a sufficient level of funding to not just keep schools afloat, but reverse course on deteriorating educational outcomes in Oregon schools. With massive PERS bills about to hit school districts, we can’t wait any longer to prioritize school funding and PERS reform and give our children the educational opportunities they deserve.”