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Policy Post – Oregon funding news

April 28, 2011
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A month or so ago we talked about the unprecedented amount of federal waivers states asked to receive. In doing my usual scan of special education news I noticed that on April 7th, the Department of Education denied Oregon’s request.

“At this time, the State appears to have projected financial resources available to fully restore funding to special education and related services in order to meet its obligation”

A week later, two bills were in the Oregon state legislature proposing significant cuts in funding to school districts. The opposition got 170 of the 198 school district superintendents to sign a petition against it.  Yesterday the legislation passed and was signed by the governor, despite the warning from school officials that the bill would mean teacher layoffs, large classrooms and shorter school years. The bills  cover spending over the next two years and take $100 million from a savings account known as the Education Stability fund. In response to the cuts, some leaders are asking for another $100 million from the fill the gaps. The governor says that the legislature must approve a budget he agrees with for the rest of the state services before he considers doing that though.

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