The Joint Interim Public Education Appropriation Committee exists to address this constitutional charge. It met Nov. 18 and 19 to finalize the report.
The report includes almost 25 full pages of education-budget information, but the first-page summary offers an encouraging overview. Oregon has made unprecedented progress toward QEM-level funding.
When the committee looked at the total level of funding appropriated by the 2019 Legislature, including Student Success Act funds, the State School Fund is only $880 million below the QEM target. This equates to dropping the funding gap between the QEM levels and actual funding levels from 23.9% in 1999-2000 to 9.8%. There is still a considerable amount of work to be done, but this report indicates we are making progress.
Although funding was the main topic of education interest in Salem during Legislative Days, the education policy committees covered multiple topics that could be bill concepts for next session.
The House Education Committee held hearings on STEM hubs and science and technology coalition building in education, community college placement methodologies, and Oregon School Activities Association changes in relation to race-based incidents in competition.
The Senate Education Committee heard testimony about dual credit funding for college classes, oral health challenges in schools, and a potential degree-granting expansion for Western Oregon University for doctorate-level physical therapy degrees.