Breaking news: additional $98 million for Oregon schools


Photograph of Senator Mark Hass

Senator Mark Hass 
Beaverton - Aloha - SW Portland
District 14 

Phone: 503-986-1714    900 Court St. NE, S-207, Salem Oregon 97301

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$98 million for our schools                                                                            Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Great news for Oregon Schools. Oregon’s Office of Economic Analysis today released its quarterly revenue forecast and presented their findings to the Oregon Legislature. And while general income tax revenues are up only a bit ($10 million approximately) property tax collections were up $98 million more than expected.

This is primarily a result of rebounding home values. This means that the Beaverton School District will receive nearly $4 million in additional funds that will help reduce class sizes, stop teacher layoffs and return lost school days. I’m pleased to say that this new funding adds to the $1 billion reinvestment the Oregon Legislature made to our schools in 2013. 

Beaverton School Graduation

One other note from today’s revenue forecast: Oregon had the third-fastest rate for job growth of any state in the nation. Oregon’s steady economic growth is expected to continue through the rest of the 2013-15 biennium, which means continued job growth around the state.

The Portland metropolitan area was responsible for nearly all jobs gained statewide early in Oregon’s recovery, but Bend and Medford also began adding jobs in 2013 and the Columbia Gorge is at an all-time employment high since the start of the recession. Furthermore, Portland has regained most all of its recession-related job losses. 

Still, with all the economic positive signs, there’s more work to do on economic issues. Yesterday I voted yes on Senate Bill 1563 – a bill that will significantly increase support for Oregon's small businesses by raising the cap on a business development fund that the state offers to small businesses looking to hire and expand. This program has helped many small businesses in a wide variety of industries get off the ground. This is one of dozens of economic development initiatives I support in this short legislative session. It passed with bipartisan support.

While polarized politics in Washington D.C. have frozen meaningful action there, here in Oregon we’re working together to find common ground and move our state forward both on jobs issues and education. 

As always, please contact my office with your ideas, priorities and concerns. You can keep in touch with my office by following my Facebook page, by emailing us or calling us at the State Capitol at (503) 986-1714.



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