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Oregon Legislature Advances Important Education Funding Bills

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K-12 Budget Clears Senate and House Approves Bill to Redirect Corporate Kicker to Community Colleges

As Oregon lawmakers near the finish line of the 2013 Legislative Session, two important bills to fund public education advanced this morning.

In the House, legislators reached the two-thirds majority required to pass House Bill 2305 - an important step forward for Oregon's 17 community colleges. The bill would redirect this year's corporate kicker to the Community College Support Fund. At this time, we do not know how much community colleges would see from this bill and whether or not the corporate kicker will be triggered.

On the other side of the Capitol, the Senate took up the budget for K-12 education. Senate Bill 5519, which appropriates $6.55 billion for Oregon's schools, had been held up earlier this month with all Republicans and one Democrat rejecting the bill. This time around, the bill received bipartisan support and passed by a vote of 22-8.

For most Oregon school districts, a $6.55 billion budget will help stave off new cuts, but it won’t allow school districts to add back what they’ve lost. And for some school districts, the budget will still mean layoffs and lost programs.

As a reminder, legislators approved Senate Bill 822 earlier in the session, reducing benefits for both active and retired PERS members. SB 822 is expected to provide an additional $200 million to school districts through PERS savings.