Co-chairs’ budget shifts funding battle to push to get adequate resources
Monday, March 11, 2019
It’s all about the budget this week in Salem.
The week of March 4 was action packed with the co-chairs’ budget released at $8.87 billion, $100 million below Gov. Kate Brown’s K-12 budget number of $8.97 billion. Now the real action starts as everyone has a number to focus on.
For lobby days, OSBA has moved the co-chairs’ budget to the top of the talking points. School districts were frustrated with that move as they had intended to come to Salem to talk about the projected investment budget of $1 billion and how that investment in K-12 would make a difference for students. Now they will have to fight just to maintain current service levels.
The co-chairs’ budget is just a step in the budgeting process, but this reduction in the base number will have OSBA and the other stakeholders working hard to increase the base budget first before working on the investment budget.
We have sent out a call to action, and I hope each of you will help: Call, email or text your legislator about the inadequacies of the $8.87 billion budget and what impacts this number has on your district. You can find resources on the Oregonians for Student Success website and OSBA website, or work directly from the email or text the campaign sends you.
The State School Fund budget had a public hearing March 7. Thanks to LeeAnn Larsen, Beaverton school board member; Lisa Allen and Mark Watson, Hillsboro school board members; and Jessica Jose-Nickerson, a Hillsboro student and advisory school board member, for coming to Salem early to give public testimony.I heard from legislators on the Joint Ways and Means Education Subcommittee that the testimony was compelling, forcing legislators to confront the realities of their funding decisions. So, thank you all, but the work does not stop there.
There continue to be lots of policy bills related to school personnel, operations, the Public Employees Retirement System and curriculum being heard in committees that will impact your district. Please continue to watch for action alerts on the bills we need assistance on by either sending an email, making a phone call or sending a text to your legislator. Your voice counts.
For a more complete list of bills, you can access the OSBA bill tracker to review any particular bill of interest to you. Please contact either me or La’Nell Trissel, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for assistance.