Show Me the Money


Jeremiah Johnson

As the possibility of a reduced budget mounts, all school programs are under scrutiny.

Jeremiah Johnson, Op-Ed Editor

After recent rumors of dramatic cuts to the 2017-2018 Oregon public education budget, it seems that almost any staff member’s jobs could be at stake. With the budget being possibly as low as $7.7 billion, the school board might have some difficult cuts to make.

The state legislature has been making propositions anywhere from $7.7 to $8.4 billion, Principal Gregory Neuman said. “Legislature keeps throwing the numbers around, making it impossible to tell what the actual budget will be. That $700 million would be essential, especially for a small school like us.”

Measure 5 (1990) is thought of as the main contributor to cuts in public education, putting a cap on the percentage of taxes that could be used for public education programs. Also, because of Measure 47 (1996), a tax measure that severely reduced the rate at which property tax could increase from year to year (3%), the rate of inflation has greatly outpaced the increase in state funding.

Oregon is known for its low taxation on corporations and big businesses, as well as its reluctance to enact a sales tax. Last November, Measure 97, which was to bring in an estimated $3 billion in taxes per year from big businesses, was defeated in the most expensive measure battle in Oregon state history.

What could this reduced budget mean for YC? “More staff cuts, and the programs they preside over,” said Neuman. However, he hopes that these potential cuts will help show the state why we need to increase the state taxes. “Call the legislature,” Neuman said, “and tell them to increase the budget.”