by Dan Lucas
The Oregon Education Association has been selling out Oregon’s teachers, Oregon schools, Oregon parents, and especially Oregon students. In the last Legislative session they stood by and said nothing when their allies in the Legislature took $150 million from the K-12 State School Fund and grew all six divisions of DHS by $330 million. School districts all across Oregon had to deal with painful cuts as a result.
The OEA then spent over $1 million to get John Kitzhaber elected governor. But once elected, Gov. Kitzhaber submitted a budget that recommended the K-12 State School Fund be cut an additional $225 million, while he also proposed an additional $333 million increase to the DHS & Oregon Health Authority (OHA) budgets; that’s K-12 budget cuts of $375 million and DHS/OHA growth of $663 million in just two budgets. Very embarrassing for the OEA – and very painful for the struggling school districts across the state. So did the OEA tell their man Kitz it wasn’t OK to hurt schools like that? No.
What did they do? OEA waited until the two Democratic Co-Chairs and the one Republican Co-Chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee recommended over $100 million more than OEA’s Kitzhaber for K-12 schools, as well as over $400 million cushion in the next budget. One of the main reasons for the cushion is to protect school districts and teachers from the jarring budget cuts that we’ve seen as a result of three years of WRONG quarterly revenue forecasts. They were attempting to give school districts a more stable budget to work with – rather than giving them fairy dust and rainbow promises, followed by painful cuts and layoffs when the reality of declining revenues came in.
In response to this very fiscally responsible act – the OEA lashed out at the sole Republican in the trio in a despicable attack-ad. Magicians do this all the time – it’s called distraction.
The OEA is hoping Oregonians won’t realize that the OEA has been selling out Oregon schools, teachers, parents and students, because it was politically expedient.