Understanding Oregon K-12 School Finance

February 17, 2013 No Comments »
Understanding Oregon K-12 School Finance

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Came across this nice PowerPoint presentation from Michael Elliott,    State School Fund Coordinator, Oregon Department of Education.

If you would like a better understanding of how and why we are where we are at with Education Funding here in Oregon, this just may help.

https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/1966

And with President’s Day, please remember, comes another important way to advocate for better school funding. Write an e-mail to your state legislators … it is a quick and easy but important process … see details in this previous post:

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http://www.sesptsa.org/featured/oregon-pta-virtual-lobbying-day-presidents-day-february-18-2013/

Funding educationAlso a recent Letter to the Editor in the Oregonian that gets to the point:Ed funding image

Oregon chief education officer Rudy Crew wants to “fix” our schools by changing their “educational architecture” and buying a lot of new technology (“Call for new ‘educational architecture’ in Oregon,” Feb. 11).

Our present model doesn’t serve students well, he says, completely ignoring the effects of years of inadequate funding on the schools we have. Remember the state’s Quality Education Model? In every biennium, the gap between what the QEM has established as resources needed and actual funding has grown. That gap was $1.64 billion in 2007-9 and is projected to be $2.44 billion in 2013-15. This reminds me of G.K. Chesterton’s words: “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

In Oregon, stable, adequate and equitable funding has been found difficult and not tried. Instead, our leaders continue to take resources out of classrooms, spending scarce education dollars on bureaucracy, consultants, testing and expensive technology. Let’s focus on the basics: students and teachers working together in schools that are supported with the wherewithal for learning.

Until we try appropriately funded schools, we won’t know how effective they can be.

WENDY SWANSON
Southwest Portland
Swanson is an education instructor at Portland State University and has 31 years of elementary teaching experience in Oregon.

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