The Oregon Education Investment Initiative proposal from Speaker Kotek and Representatives Nathanson and Barnhart is the first step in reversing years of disinvestment. As leaders in higher education, we know it’s far past time to ask large corporations to pay more in order to make investments in Oregon’s public universities and community colleges.
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.
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, Chair of Southwestern Oregon Community College
Phil Carrasco, Lane Community College Board Member
Tony McCown, Lane Community College Board Member
Mark Gagmon, Southwestern Oregon Community College Board
David Bridgham, Vice-Chair Southwestern Oregon Community College Board
Marcia Jensen, Southwestern Oregon Community College Board
Harry Abel, Southwestern Oregon Community College Board
Susie Jones, Mount Hood Community College Board
American Federation of Teachers — Oregon
Oregon Student Association
Oregon Education Association