Advocates Say "No Thanks" To Early K-12 Budget

Capitol Currents:

For years, Republican Senator Jason Atkinson has been pushing his fellow lawmakers to approve a K-12 education budget as early in the session as possible. While his proposed Constitutional amendment probably isn't going anywhere this year, either, his idea does seem to have some traction among the three co-chairs of the Ways & Means Committee. While unveiling their budget proposal today, the three lawmakers emphasized that they want lawmakers to approve the K-12 budget by the end of April. Doing so, said Republican Representative Dennis Richardson, "would not leave the 197 school districts waiting to hear what their revenue is going to be."But some in the education community don't see it that way. At a press conference immediately following the co-chairs' budget release, I asked about the push to approve a K-12 budget by the end of April. Craig Hawkins of the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators said "We would advocate to wait for the May (revenue) forecast and make a final determination then when we know what the real money is. Why make that decision prior to the time when we know what the total number of resources are going to be?"  Otto Schell of the Oregon PTA added: "There is no rush from our perspective to pass the budget sooner than normal."Of course, when you're lobbying for lawmakers to add more money to your budget, a few extra weeks could come in handy.

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