Opportunity Day Rally for Oregon Students

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Greater educational attainment increases per-capita income, improves public health outcomes, reduces the need for social services, and reduces interactions with the justice system and incarceration rates, all of which saves lots of money. It provides a better standard of living. Investing in this now will pay dividends for decades to come.

Opportunity Day Rally for Oregon Students

Oregon students have seen access to, and affordability of, post-secondary education erode for decades. Many of you are familiar with this disturbing trend, so I won’t go into too much detail. Suffice to say, it is bad and getting worse. However, as the great staff at state treasurer Ted Wheeler’s office will tell you:

Greater educational attainment increases per-capita income, improves public health outcomes, reduces the need for social services, and reduces interactions with the justice system and incarceration rates, all of which saves lots of money. It provides a better standard of living. Investing in this now will pay dividends for decades to come.

So what do we do about this, how can we help students afford school? Glad you asked.

The Opportunity Initiative is two pieces of legislation (Senate Bill 11 and Senate Joint Resolution 1) that will create a permanent, dedicated fund for student aid in Oregon. A year after implementation, the plan can increase Opportunity Grant revenue by about 50%, with that amount growing each year. For more information, check out www.buildingoregonsfuture.com.

The Opportunity Initiative provides the revenue needed to make a difference, and makes college planning more predictable for families. At the same time, OUS spending per student has remained nearly the same, tracking inflation over the last 20 years, so this isn't a problem of runaway costs. Current student aid (the Oregon Opportunity Grant) receives anemic, unreliable funding.

The Opportunity Initiative is a bold new plan to create an endowment fund for Oregon’s students. Over the next 30 years, our costs will be approximately $900 million and we’ll receive a total benefit of $1.7 billion. The $900M is the cost to service the bonds over the time period, while the $1.7 billion of benefit includes $940M worth of new student aid grants, plus the value of the Opportunity Fund, which will be $1.3B after 30 years.

These grant monies would be made available for Oregon high school graduates wishing to attend vocational training, community college or public four year institutions in Oregon through the existing vehicle of the Oregon Opportunity Grant.

AND THERE IS A RALLY!!!!!!!

Come to Salem to advocate for the Opportunity Initiative! The Legislature has heard from Treasurer Wheeler. Now they need to hear from Oregonians from all backgrounds: students, businesses, parents, and anyone else who's interested in creating a prosperous future for Oregon!

The Details:

March 7 Schedule:
12:00 - Rally on the Capitol Steps
1:00 - Hearing in the Senate Education Committee
2:00 - Meet with your local legislators (must be scheduled beforehand... let us know!)

Sign up for the event via Facebook here.

Taken largely from correspondence with state treasurer Ted Wheeler’s staff

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