Education Funding

Oregon schools and community colleges have already faced hundreds of millions of dollars in painful cuts. Districts across the state have been forced to cut school days, lay off educators, increase class size, and eliminate valuable programs such as music, art and P.E. Community colleges have had to eliminate vital programs and raise student tuition.

We Believe in a Better Way

Oregon should invest in education to preserve jobs, invigorate local communities and protect our future.

Investing in public education is the path out of our economic crisis. In the short-term, our investment in education affects every Oregon community. In more than 50% of our cities and towns, the local public school is the largest employer. Collectively, Oregon school districts are Oregon’s second-largest employer.

In the long-term, according to research, the best economic investment we can make is in education. An educated populace attracts business development, increases the quality of life of communities, and reduces the need for public safety and human service supports. 

Fully nine jobs are supported in the private sector by every 10 school employee jobs. Every $1 invested in education today is returned to the economy in five years, penny for penny. The positive, lifetime annual return on that dollar is 14.3%.

Links, Publications and Resources

Quality Education Model (QEM): Created by the Oregon Legislature in 1999, the QEM identifies the elements of high performance schools and the costs. Designed as a tool for state lawmakers to develop the K-12 education budget, the QEM is now overseen by the Quality Education Comission, which includes the OEA President.

  • NEA - Education Funding
  • Oregon Governor's Office
  • Oregon Legislative Revenue Office
  • Oregon Legislative Fiscal Office
  • Oregon Department of RevenueThe DOR publishes tax forms, instructions, statistical reports and more. Their website includes extensive detailed information about budgets and taxes including details on all Oregon tax breaks.
  • Oregon Center for Public Policy  OCPP has more than forty publications on tax, budget, poverty and other public policy issues.
  • Our Oregon: A broad-based, statewide coalition representing educators, seniors, parents, business owners and people who care about, and care for, our state's citizens.
  • Impact of Federal Funds on State Economy Compared to State Funds (PDF, 97K): In June 2002, ECONorthwest conducted a study titled K-12 Spending and the Oregon Economy on behalf of the Oregon Education Association, the Oregon School Board Association and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators. This letter clarifies that federal funds introduced to the state economy has a greater net impact than state-sourced funds.
  • 2007 Study - Education Funding Impact on Oregon's Economy  (PDF, 100K): Shows the affects of various changes to Oregon's fiscal policies such as eliminating the "corporate kicker" and increasing the corporate minimum tax. This study also demonstrates how increasing public education funding and children's healthcare improves Oregon's employment rate and economic productivity. Results from the study by Richard Sims of the Sierra Institute on Applied Economics are also available as presentations in both Adobe PDF (600K) and Microsoft PowerPoint (2.56MB) formats.