Legislature releases historic education investment proposal, offers solutions to challenges facing students
The Student Success Act is an exciting and momentous step toward fully funding our schools. With these investment priorities, the Joint Committee on Student Success has made it clear that the challenges facing our students today can only be met with significant additional investments into the classroom. After decades of disinvestment, Oregon has one of the largest average class sizes in the nation and one of the lowest graduation rates.
“Oregon schools are in crisis,” says John Larson, high school English teacher and president of the Oregon Education Association. “This proposal to invest $2 billion in education directly addresses the issues facing our schools today. The Student Success Act prioritizes resources to go directly to the classroom, reducing class sizes, restoring critical programs like career-technical education and art and music, and providing for students’ mental and behavioral health needs. If the legislature is able to fully fund their Student Success Act, we could make game-changing investments in all students, including students of color, low-income students, and students from other historically disadvantaged backgrounds."
While the details of a revenue package are as yet unclear, educators are heartened by the release of these spending priorities that would provide funds directly to the classroom. Oregon K-12 schools need a budget of $10.7 billion (as required by the Quality Education Model) to give students what they need, and this proposal is a huge moment for Oregon students, educators, and public school families.
Educators around the state are currently planning walkouts and actions on Wednesday, May 8th to call on lawmakers to fully fund schools and are watching these proceedings closely.
For more information about May 8 events in your community, go to may8forstudents.org.