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Co-chairs' budget targets as much as $6.0 billion for K-12 Print E-mail

Oregon K-12 schools are expected to receive total state funding of $6.0 billion in the next biennium, according to a recommended 2009-11 state budget released today by Joint Ways and Means Committee Co-Chairs, Sen. Margaret Carter and Rep. Peter Buckley.  The recommended $13.8 billion state budget comes with a couple of critical caveats, however.

First is the required passage of a proposed $800 million revenue package that would raise income taxes on the wealthy (those making $250,000 or more per year) and on corporations.  That package is expected to be passed and enacted by the legislature, but could conceivably face an initiative-propelled challenge on the January 2010 ballot.

Second is the fate of Oregon’s economy.  The recommended budget includes $327 million of reserves to help offset any further declines in the Oregon economy.  It also includes $400 million in reserves that will be allocated to schools, but held in abeyance until the revenue picture for 2010-11 becomes more certain.

“At $5.6 billion with a $400 million reserve fund to be triggered in 2010, we intend to offer a total of $6 billion to our K-12 system over the next two years,” Sen. Carter and Rep. Buckley noted.  “We believe we must hold back the $400 million in a reserve fund at present to balance against another freefall such as our state experienced in the past year.  If our state economist is correct, we will have prepared our budget in such a way as to be able to release the full $400 million to our K-12 system.”

The plan recommended by Sen. Carter and Rep. Buckley would allocate approximately 49 percent of $6.0 billion to schools in 2009-10.  The balance ­– either 51 percent of $6.0 billion, or an undetermined lesser amount that depends on the revenue package and the economy – would be allocated in 2010-11.

A complete copy of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means Co-Chairs 2009-11 Recommend Budget is available.

Please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail Kent Hunsaker, Chuck Bennett, Craig Hawkins or Angie Peterman if you have questions.

This page was last updated on Thursday, May 21, 2009 .