Stop the Minnis School Plan

As Representative Larry Galizio pointed out over the weekend, the Speaker's school funding plan "essentially mandates continued disinvestment in Oregon's schools."

Now, the AFL-CIO is jumping into the fray:

House Speaker Karen Minnis says that she wants "stable funding" for schools. Yet the plan she has put forth will lower dollars in the classroom for years to come.

School funding advocates, including AFT-Oregon, the Oregon Education Association and Stand for Children, have criticized the Minnis plan as inadequate to keep schools open on a full-time schedule without squeezing more children into already overcrowded classrooms.

A vote looks imminent this week. Take action over at the Oregon AFL-CIO website.

Comments

  • Daniel (unverified)
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    [off-topic comment removed. -editor.]

  • steve s (unverified)
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    Oh ya the AFL-CIO, champions of public education.

    yes on M28 yes on M30 yes on a sales tax yes on getting rid of M5 yes on getting rid of the kicker yes on getting rid of the double majority yes on getting rid of voter intitiatives yes on overturning M37 No on PERS reform

  • Rorovitz (unverified)
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    Steve,

    So years of advocacy for increased school funding is offset by opposition to the PERS changes? Being concerned about the well being of school employees is clearly in opposition to good education. What?

  • McBain (unverified)
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    Let's see, following Steve's logic the AFL-CIO should be for:

    Higher tax burdens on working people; Lower tax burdens on people who don't work for a living and collect dividends; Lower taxes on wealthy property owners; Less ability for local governments to fund schools, and more of that put onto the state; More fraudlent activity in signature gathering...

    I would go on but, maybe Steve could explain how taking the opposite side of that would be good for workers? And, is there wholesale opposition to PERS changes, or just opposition to changes that would really hurt those who receive a pension?

    The "problem" with PERS is as much about the lack of commitment by some to pay there fair share as it is with the structure in the system.

  • David Wynde (unverified)
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    Three views on this topic in The O this morning:

    Minnis plan shows potential (Editorial) http://www.oregonlive.com/editorials/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/editorial/1119347737315010.xml&coll=7

    The Minnis plan: Two Views In Support: Portland School Board http://www.oregonlive.com/commentary/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/editorial/1119347720315011.xml&coll=7

    In Opposition: Stand for Children http://www.oregonlive.com/commentary/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/editorial/1119347720315011.xml&coll=7

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    David, Can you provide a ray of hope to those of us with children in PPS? I feel like we're floundering and are in serious danger of going underwater?

    I'm not asking for a policy statement, just some viewpoint from the inside.

    We've already lost three more families out of Sellwood Middle School to Vancouver, and Sellwood is about as good as it gets (but also with the income to move).

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Those editorials seem to boil down to: The Minnis plan is inadequate to even maintain current school-funding levels or stabilize their base, but it's all the stingy House R's will allow on the table so we should take it and be grateful!

    Pardon me, but if the Legislature can't do their job, we shouldn't accept their excuses. This is a poor excuse for effective legislation.

  • Jerry (unverified)
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    With all due respect to David Wynde and Ms Reagan, how does PPS cutting its own deal help to resolve the state's seemingly perennial budget shortfall? Is this the Portland Public School district's much bally-hooed leadership presenting itself again, as it did in the school closure debacle earlier this spring?

    Just once I'd like to see progressive stick together and roll the do-nothings down in Salem. We can start with the Governor and move on from there.

    Paul's not the only one seeing more For Sale signs around his neighborhood.

  • LT (unverified)
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    The interesting thing about the Oregonian editorial is the list of things they would change (starting point, percent of income tax--don't have the editorial right here but there were 4 or more as I recall)in order to pass it.

    I called around some House offices today and had some interesting reactions to this question: Why can't the Speaker go out and sell her plan by speaking to community groups and by addressing the specifics in the editorial?

    If she would say she agrees with one proposal but not another because... that would prove she is capable of discussing the details of the plan--something open to question at the moment.

    One interesting response was a Republican staffer who was amused by the notion that someone should buy Minnis a particular Mary Englebright totebag--the one saying it is great to be Queen.

    A Republican friend who doesn't work in the House wonders if Wilhelms the chief of staff is really the power behind the throne and why does no one ever talk about how much money he makes?($8,000 per month as I recall) And that the problem with Minnis is that she obviously never had any sales training.

    Yes, school funding is a problem. But short of electing a new legislature, I think asking creative questions rather than same old same old might be a good strategy.

  • John (unverified)
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    Uh, LT, duh. Wilhelms is clearly the one pulling the strings behind Minnis. Nice catch though, most outside the Capitol rumor ring don't know this.

  • Constiutent (unverified)
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    Two things:

    1. With all due respect Mr. Wynde, putting the onus of funding K-12 entirely on personal income in and of itself creates a signifiicant problem. Business is one of the primary beneficiaries of a strong education system so why should they not pay for the damn thing.

    2. I say fight for a good number and if not sue the bastards. Its worked in other states. We did pass Measure 1 in 2000 after all.

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    I don't have time to stick it to the Governor and try to roll the legislature or play high stakes litigation poker.

    I have a child in high school and one in middle school NOW. I have another child entering kindergarten NOW.

    The high schooler has seen cutbacks in counseling and a rise in sports fees. The middle schooler has seen her schedule cut from seven classes to six classes and electives slashed as the school has had to let go teachers. The kindergartener is protected by my very generous neighbors in Duniway, but I don't know how much longer these parents will hang in there and bid $5000 for a campout in a teacher's backyard. I sure can't pay that much at an auction.

    I don't have time for political games. My children's education is an immediate issue.

  • Don't matter (unverified)
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    The PPS amendment seems to have killed the bill at least for now. It got referred back to Committee on the floor today.

  • Ruth Adkins (unverified)
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    Putting aside PPS' very disappointing, I assume bred-of-desperation support of Minnis:

    Minnis thinks her school-killing plan will keep angry parents from coming down to Salem and yelling at legislators. In your dreams, lady. If the R's succeed in permanently crippling our public schools I will be MORE active and MORE vocal and that includes working my tail off to get Karen Minnis OUT OF OFFICE.

    My kids are in 2nd, 7th and 9th and I have HAD IT. Not only with Minnis and the R's, but with our do-nothing Gov and the absolutely supine D-controlled Senate. What do they put in the water in Salem?! I am tearing my hair out.

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