OSBA’s ‘Promise of Oregon’ video shows need for revenue reform to fund education
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
“There is no magical Department of Waste, Fraud and Abuse that we can get rid of and then have enough money in order to provide everything we want,” said Rep. Barbara Smith Warner, co-chair of the Joint Interim Committee on Student Success, in the new “Promise of Oregon” video. The video explores Oregon’s education funding history and why revenue reform is needed. (Blue Chalk Media)
OSBA has released “A Time to Listen,” a potent documentary on Oregon’s chronic education funding problem and the legislative drive for a solution.
“The American dream is ‘I want to make a better life for my kid,’” Rep. Barbara Smith Warner says on the video. “Education is the most important part of that.”
OSBA unveiled the video Saturday at its 72nd Annual Convention in Portland. The video, part of “The Promise of Oregon” education advocacy campaign that OSBA began in 2014, explains recent education funding history and why Oregon schools need revenue reform.
“We need to get the message out that our schools need to be fully and adequately funded,” OSBA Board President LeeAnn Larsen (Beaverton SD) says on the video. OSBA has committed to revenue reform and cost containment advocacy in the 2019 Legislature.
OSBA’s contract video production company, Blue Chalk Media, started work on the 14-minute video in early 2018. The half-dozen people working on the video closely followed the Joint Interim Committee on Student Success.
The committee is replicating the outline used by the special transportation committee that passed a $5.3 billion project-funding package in 2017. Legislative leaders and Gov. Kate Brown are looking to the Student Success Committee to provide a 2019 legislative blueprint for how Oregon should improve its education system and how to pay for it.
“Somehow we’ve got to figure out how to fix our revenue system and take a step forward as a society,” Sen. Arnie Roblan said on the video. Roblan, D-Coos Bay, and Smith Warner, D-Portland, are the committee’s co-chairs.
The committee held public hearings around the state, meeting with students, educators, school board members, administrators and business and community leaders. Rob Finch, Blue Chalk’s creative director, said the background work encompassed about 80 hours of video, including filming committee members through long trips and interviewing political figures and policy experts.
OSBA convention attendees applauded the video’s advocacy potential and said they would show it at parent club meetings and community events.
“The video was powerful and inspiring,” said Lisa LaGesse, Lighthouse School Board president. “It brings light to a problem we have been struggling with for years.”
Democratic state Sen. Rob Wagner, a Lake Oswego School Board member, said he thought the video would be an effective tool.
On the video, Senate President Peter Courtney said he supports increased spending to improve Oregon schools as long as there is a tax mechanism to pay for it and the money goes exclusively to education.
“We’re going for it,” said Courtney, D-Salem. “I don’t care whether it’s a billion, I don’t care if it’s 2 billion.”