The Woodburn School Board unanimously passed a resolution asking the state legislature to adequately fund education. The resolution states that Oregon’s public schools have experienced a long period of unstable and inadequate funding that has resulted in teacher and staff layoffs, program cuts, larger class sizes, and a shorter school year.
Oregon lawmakers are feeling pressure from school districts as part of the Oregonians for Student Success campaign sponsored by the state school board association. School board members and other education groups are advocating for funding at the Quality Education Model (QEM) level estimated at $10.734 billion.
The Oregon QEM was initially developed to estimate the level of funding required to operate a system of highly-effective schools in the state. QEM defines what a high-quality educational system should be for Oregon students, yet has never been fully funded by the Legislature. QEM has published an annual report through the Oregon Department of Education since 1999.
The state recently commissioned a bipartisan, bicameral Joint Committee on Student Success to define what schools can be and to find ways to sustainably fund these goals. The Committee concluded their work in 2018 to rave reviews for its collaborative approach to addressing education funding.
“We have enough reports and studies that show what we need to do,” said Linda Johnston, chairperson for the Woodburn School Board. “Now it’s up to the Oregon Legislature to take action, provide adequate funding and meet its obligation to our students.”