Since the passage of Measure 5 in 1990, Oregon has consistently underfunded its schools and failed to adopt a means of sustainable funding for public services. There is little doubt that a strong funding system of public education is the best investment Oregonians can make to strengthen our economy, create thriving communities and improve the quality of life for every Oregonian. The GSD supports a more robust and well-rounded curriculum that meets the needs of all of our students, including: art, music, PE, career and technical training, as well as co-curricular activities.
These prolonged periods of unstable and inadequate funding have at times resulted in negative consequences such as staff layoffs, program cuts, and the shortest school year in the country to name just three. For years now the Quality Education Model has consistently defined what a high-quality educational system could look like for Oregon schools and students, yet the state’s funding momentum is consistently fragile due to looming future cost increases related to such areas as health care and PERS.
The Oregon Legislative Joint Committee on Student Success, whose 20-plus members personally visited our school district campus last May, continues to drive the discussion to define what our schools can be by finding the means of sustaining a solid fiscal formula into the short and long term future. Tomorrow (reported as the Day of Action by various educators across the state), if you see one of our district educators wearing red, it reflects their commitment to showing their support for our mutual goal of more stable funding of our schools and their commitment to our students.
Matt S. Henry,