Schools Budget Headed For Floor Votes In Salem
A budget for Oregon schools is headed for floor votes earlier than lawmakers have managed in years. It starts with a key vote Tuesday.
Leaders of the Oregon House and Senate are pressing ahead with a $7.25 billion dollar budget for public schools. First stop is a joint subcommittee - followed by a vote planned for Thursday at the Ways and Means Committee.
The budget is about $20 million bigger than what the co-chairs announced in January. More than half of the increase would help students learning English. $2.5 million would provide a free lunch to students who had previously qualified for a reduced-price meal.
School advocates have complained that the budget falls short. They point to rising costs - like the requirement for this fall that all districts provide a full day of kindergarten.
Legislative leaders say kindergarten is covered, but acknowledge the budget doesn't make "game-changing investments." They say if revenues come in higher, 40 percent will go to schools.
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