Advocates applaud the Oregon Education Investment Initiative

Today, Speaker Kotek and Chairs Nathanson and Barnhart released the first proposal in this legislative session that will make the investments in schools and families that Oregon needs. This is the budget and the leadership that Oregon families have been waiting for, and all across the state, Oregonians are applauding this powerful proposal.

K-12 leaders applaud Oregon Education Investment Initiative

We applaud the announcement today by Speaker Kotek and Chairs Nathanson and Barnhart to raise taxes on large corporations to give us the K-12 school budget Oregon has been waiting for. Their proposal to implement a combination of corporate revenue reform and cost reduction is leadership in action.

The story of Oregon’s K-12 schools is too familiar — underfunded classrooms make class sizes too big and school years too short. Oregon has the 3rd largest class sizes in the country and one of the shortest school years. Budget cuts have slashed arts, music, and PE, and every year communities are forced to hand out pink slips to needed classroom teachers. According to Education Week, Oregon ranks 39th in the country for per-student funding.

This budget begins to change all of that. By investing $1 billion into K-12 schools, we can add two weeks back to the school year, reduce class sizes in K-5 classrooms, invest in teacher mentoring, focus on equity, put a school nurse in every school, increase support for English learners, improve graduation rates and reduce chronic absenteeism and more. This is an investment in kids that we’ve needed for so long.

We also applaud and support the structure of this new funding, built on thoughtful and deliberate processes inside the Legislature. This plan shifts the tax burden from low and middle-income families and calls on corporations to step up and invest in their future workforce and the future of our state. Oregon families have long invested in schools, it is time for big business to do the same.

Today’s Education Investment Initiative deserves the support of the education community and the entire state. It gets Oregon close to the Quality Education Model funding level families deserve, and it allows every community to start reversing the years of cuts our classrooms have felt.

We encourage the Legislature to quickly adopt the Education Investment Initiative proposed by Speaker Kotek and Chairs Nathanson and Barnhart. The initiative is urgently needed: School districts are budgeting as we speak, and they need the reassurance that the state is committed to making new investments. From the community perspective, passing this budget also shows a commitment by Oregon’s leaders to invest in our kids and Oregon’s future.

This Education Investment Initiative is a sign of leadership from Oregon’s elected officials. Thank you for changing the lives of an entire generation of kids who otherwise would go without.

Oregon PTA
Oregon Education Association (OEA)
Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA)
Fully Fund Schools Oregon (FFS Oregon)
Collin Robinson, PTA president
Scott Mills, North Marion School District Board Member
Carl West, Mapleton School Board Chair
Siobhan Burke, Multnomah Education Service District Board Member
Erick Flores, Parkrose School Board Member
Andrea Valderrama, David Douglas School Board Member
Paul Jorgensen, Bethel School Board Member
Twinkle Morton, Fern Ridge School District Board Chair
Matt Thatcher, COSA President
Mary Lu Baetkey, Chair of the Parkrose School District
Erik Bishoff, Springfield School Board Member

Faith leaders across Oregon support House leadership’s new revenue proposal

We measure success in our communities by the depths we travel to care for and tend to one another. Today, legislators in Oregon’s House of Representatives took a major step to care for Oregon’s children by announcing a plan that would make new investments in our K-12 and higher education system.

The Education Investment Initiative announced by Speaker Kotek and Representatives Phil Barnhart and Nancy Nathanson demonstrates true leadership, and a deep commitment to the future of Oregon. For too long our families have been victimized by short school years and larger than imaginable class sizes. It’s incumbent on us to address those shortcomings, but all too often political expediency overcomes community duty. Not today. Today, these legislators showed Oregonians what caring community leaders look and act like, and our state will be better for it.

Teaching, learning, and education are a large part of the faith community. So much of our success comes from learning about our relationship with our family, our community and our God. As faith leaders, we rely on education and teaching to reach our congregations every day. We know the power of individual attention, regular teachings, and opportunities to learn and explore. Opportunity is what makes teaching and learning possible in our faith communities, and it is required in our educational communities as well. Yet we all know that far too often, less than adequate budgets mean students do not receive the chances they need.

This Education Investment Initiative means opportunity for every child. We applaud this proposal and we pray that the Legislature can come together to embrace its leadership and wisdom in the coming months.

If we care about the future of our state, we must make investments in our education system now. Oregon’s communities simply can not wait any longer. As faith leaders, we support the Education Investment Initiative proposed today and hope that others will join us in urging the legislature to do adopt this inspiring plan.

Rev. Steve Berube, Retiree
Rabbi Debra Kolodny, Executive Director of Nehirim
Pastor M. Lynne Smouse López, Ainsworth United Church of Christ
Rev. Kris Voss-Rothmeier, Presbytery of the Cascades
Karen Nettler, Board Chair at Oregon Center for Christian Voices
Rev. Joseph McMahon, Retired Catholic Priest and Jobs with Justice Faith Labor Committee
Rev. Lisa Jean Hoefner, Retired Clergy of United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Barbara Campbell, St. Mark Presbyterian Church
Rev. Caren Caldwell, Associate Minister at Medford United Church of Christ
Charles Mantey, Saint Mark Lutheran Church of Salem
Fr. Jack Mosbrucker, Retired Catholic Clergy
Michael Rowe, President of the Board at Pacific Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Astoria
Pastor Chris Hyde, Hillsdale Community Church
Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie, University Chaplain at Pacific University
Marcia Olsen, Retired Unitarian Universalist Minister

Higher education leaders applaud action on revenue

Today’s Education Investment Initiative proposal is the first step in reversing years of disinvestment. We strongly support the announcement today by Speaker Kotek and Chairs Nathanson and Barnhart to make investments in higher education by raising taxes on large corporations.

For Oregon to have a strong economy with family wage jobs and opportunities for all, we need a vibrant higher education system that is affordable and accessible for every Oregonian. The $250 million that will be invested in our higher education system through the Oregon Education Investment Initiative will translate to lower tuition and better programs for Oregon’s university and community college students. It will get us out of the cycle of chronic disinvestment in higher education and open the doors of opportunity for many more Oregonians.

In recent years, supporting Oregon’s community colleges and universities has become increasingly difficult as state cuts to higher education budgets have driven up tuition costs and eliminated important programs.

Oregon has always valued its colleges and universities, but budget cuts have threatened the ability to deliver a great education to every student. One budget cannot reverse two decades of cuts, but it can start a new trend and build towards a better future where all students can get access to the training and education they need.

Thank you Representatives for proposing real investments in Oregon’s colleges and universities.

As leaders in the higher education community, we call on the Legislature to quickly adopt this Oregon Education Investment Initiative so we can begin to provide the skills and education Oregon’s workers need.

Jaime Arredondo, Western Oregon University Board Member
Rosie Pryor, Chair of Lane Community College Board of Education
Matt Keating, Vice Chair of Lane Community College Board
Austin Folnagy, Klamath Community College Board Member
Kenney Polson, Mt. Hood Community College Board of Education Director
Susan Anderson, Southwestern Oregon Community College Board Member
Phil Carrasco, Lane Community College Board Member
Tony McCown, Lane Community College Board Member
Michael Sonnleitner, PCC Trustee, Zone 3
American Federation of Teachers — Oregon
Oregon Student Association
Oregon Education Association
Association of Oregon Faculties

Main Street Alliance of Oregon Small Businesses Support the Oregon Education Investment Proposal

Portland, Oregon – May 4, 2017 – On behalf of 3500 plus small business members we represent, the Main Street Alliance of Oregon applauds the announcement today by Speaker Kotek and Chairs Nathanson and Barnhart to raise taxes on large corporations to make targeted and strategic investments in early childhood education, K12 schools and higher education in Oregon. Our business thrive when we have strong schools and invest in programs that families need. This is the first plan we’ve seen that makes serious investments by shifting the burden for investing in schools and services from small businesses and working families to large corporations. Thank you, Representatives, for providing the leadership Oregon needs.

For decades, small businesses across the state have been paying a higher rate in taxes than the large businesses we compete with. The Oregon Education Investment Initiative introduced today finally makes large corporations pay their fair share in taxes while protecting Oregon taxpayers. This plan is what Oregonians have been waiting for! It will allow us to finally make meaningful investments: We can invest in job skills training, hire thousands of teachers, increase college affordability and more.

Small business leaders proudly do their part and pay their taxes because we know that investing in our communities makes all of us stronger. For small businesses, when the economy is healthy and families have access to good schools and services, they can afford to shop locally at the tens of thousands of small businesses that make Oregon great. Our success relies on the success of our communities, and investments in schools and family services make us all successful.

Amber Herbert, High Ridge Construction
Maurice Rahming, O’neil Construction Group
Mark Kellenbeck, Co-Chair of Main Street Alliance of Oregon, BrainJoy LLC
Deb Field, Paperjam Press
Peter Nehring, Hollywood Babylon
Mark Gabriel, The Wellness Center
Jim Houser, Co-Chair of Main Street Alliance of Oregon, Hawthorne Auto Clinic
Thuy Tran, Rose City Vision

Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba supports the Oregon Education Investment Initiative

As the Mayor of a flourishing working class city that is striving towards being an entirely equitable, livable, and sustainable place to raise a family I wholeheartedly support the Education Investment Initiative plan announced by Representatives Nathanson, Barnhart and Speaker Kotek. Thank you for bringing this courageous and important plan forward.

As a lifelong education advocate, this is the plan we have all be waiting for: investments in kids, higher education and pre-K by shifting the burden of taxation away from individual taxpayers and onto the larger corporations that can easily afford to pay slightly more and who will reap the benefits of a better educated work force.

In the community of Milwaukie, our schools are a source of pride. Good schools speak volumes about our values and our goals as a city, and today’s proposal for new investments in schools will allow our educators to do their jobs to the best of their ability rather than making due with an ever shrinking budget.

Almost everyone will say that our children are our most valued assets, this plan puts our money where our mouth is. Not just Milwaukie, but all of Oregon wins today because you can only build a prosperous community on the foundation of good jobs and great schools. The Education Investment Initiative gives every town a chance to say they have the resources they need for great schools far into the future.

Thank you Representatives for this powerful proposal. I strongly encourage the Legislature to adopt the plan and make these investments right away.

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