Education advocates aren’t alarmed about $200 million veto of State School Fund money
Monday, June 21, 2021
Gov. Kate Brown’s veto pen took a scary-looking chunk out of the State School Fund, but behind-the-scenes discussions indicate school leaders should not be alarmed.
Last week, Brown exercised her line-item veto authority to strike an Education Stability Fund transfer to the State School Fund in Senate Bill 5514. Normally, a veto of $200 million would be cause for alarm from school board members. It appears, however, this is a procedural requirement and the Legislature will replace this $200 million before the session adjourns.
This came about as a product of timing during the normal budget wrangling between the Legislature and the governor’s office.
Last month, despite evidence from advocates that a $9.6 billion State School Fund would leave some schools short, the governor and legislative leadership agreed on a $9.3 billion allocation. Part of the agreement was that none of that $9.3 billion would come from the Education Stability Fund, a “rainy-day” reserve fund for public education.
SB 5514 was drafted before the agreement and contained $200 million to be drawn from the Education Stability Fund. It was already too far along in the legislative process to be amended or changed. The actual transfer, however, was in another bill, SB 226, which was left stranded in committee after the deal was struck.