Senator Monroe - Education Funding Update

Rob Monroe

Hello Friends and Neighbors,

Stable Public Education Funding 

Yesterday, the Oregon Senate approved a $7.255 billion budget for our state’s public schools. The budget is a $600 million increase over the last biennium, which will provide stability for most school districts while also funding full-day kindergarten for children throughout Oregon for the first time in state history.

“Today we are voting on a budget that will provide stability for our schools and allow districts to prepare for the 2015-2016 school year when we finally offer free full day kindergarten for all Oregon kids,” I stated yesterday when I carried the bill on the Senate floor as o-chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education. “As a lifelong educator, I have always fought for more dollars in our classroom. With today’s vote we set the floor for fundingnot the maximum amount of funding that our schools can get, but the minimum.”

Student at the Town Hall

 At our Town Hall on Saturday, I explained how education funding is going to increase the amount of money allocated per student in our schools. 

This investment is part of a multi-year effort to get education funding back on track after years of recessionary cuts. In 2013, the Legislature added $1 billion to Oregon’s K-12 schools, approving the largest budget in state history as the economy began to improve. The $7.255 billion budget approved yesterday is a nine percent increase that will maintain that historic boost, and automatically increase school funding if more money is available after the next economic and revenue forecast in May.

Given the hard decisions we must make as your representatives at the Capitol, I believe this budget is realistic, responsible, and a good starting point for our students.

The $7.255 billion K-12 budget (House Bill 5017) includes:

  • $600 million more than the 2013-15 K-12 budget, maintaining the historic $1 billion increase the Legislature approved in 2013
  • Full funding for full-day kindergarten
  • Targeted investments to support children with disabilities, low-income students, and English language learners
  • A trigger that will send 40 percent of new revenue to the State School Fund if the economy shows improvement in the May economic and revenue forecast

HB 5017 will now go to the Governor’s desk where she is expected to sign it.

To be clear—Our K-12 budget is an improvement over recent years, but I know we need to do better.

I am committed to continuing our reinvestment in schools since the dramatic loss of resources during the Great Recession. I want to commend the hard work and dedication of our teachers and education professionals who give their students the individual attention they need to succeed. I know that budget constraints make their jobs very difficult. I will continue to prioritize our schools and work with my colleagues and community members alike to find ways to get more dollars into our classrooms.

As always, please feel free to contact my office with your ideas, priorities and concerns about public education funding or any other issue. I’m always eager to hear from you! You can keep in touch with my office by following my Facebook page, by emailing us at, or calling us at the State Capitol, at (503) 986-1724.

Best regards,

Rod Monroe

Senator Rod Monroe

Senate District 24 – East Portland and Happy Valley 

email: I phone: 503-986-1724
address: 900 Court St NE, S-409, Salem, OR, 97301