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School Funding Tweaks Await Returning Oregon Students

20120801_School Classroom OPB copy copy

The first day of school is just a few weeks off. Public schools will see some funding changes.

State education officials considered adding money for students learning to speak English, and for students in poverty. But lawmakers balked.

However, legislators did agree to set aside tens of millions for specific statewide priorities for public schools.

The biggest change is a doubling of what's available for schools serving students with high-cost special needs — including medically-fragile children.

For years, the state covered only a fraction of those costs. A number of districts have long complained they've had to shift money from other budgets to serve those students. The $70 million fund should reduce that problem.

And though lawmakers didn't boost direct spending for English learners, they approved more than $12 million for an "accountability fund" for schools where English learners aren't succeeding.

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Rob Manning is a news editor at Oregon Public Broadcasting, with oversight of reporters covering education, healthcare and business. Rob became an editor in 2019, following about 15 years covering schools and universities in Oregon and southwest Washington as OPB’s education reporter.