Report reveals the state is in danger of missing graduation rate goal.
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
A report from a group of education organizations reveals Oregon’s 69% graduation rate is the lowest in the nation.
The list is released to track progress toward a nationwide goal of a 90% graduation rate.
From the Portland Business Journal:
Washington, at 76 percent, isn’t much better. It ranks 40 out of 50 states.
The state’s dismal education system has been a priority issue for businesses for several years. The efforts to shore up funding for schools got further energized two weeks ago when the Oregon Supreme Court gutted reforms to the state’s pension system for public workers. Business leaders fear the state will further slash education in order to close what could be a nearly $1 billion gap in the 2017-19 state budget.
The organizations that conducted the report include America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education. See the report here.
In Central Oregon, a budget approved by the Bend-La Pine Schools budget committee would necessitate cutting teachers.
The plan still needs to get approval from the school board as state funding remains uncertain.
The Bend Bulletin reports:
Last month, Superintendent Ron Wilkinson presented a $154 million budget for 2015-16. That assumed the Legislature would allocate $7.5 billion for Oregon’s K-12 schools; it has budgeted $7.255 billion. Two days later, the state Supreme Court ruled some of the 2013 cuts to the Public Employees Retirement System were unconstitutional, a ruling that likely will raise pension costs for state and local governments. Bend-La Pine Schools was named as a respondent in the suit filed by public employee unions.
At its meeting Tuesday, the budget committee approved a 2015-16 budget about $3.8 million less than what was originally proposed. To get down to that level, Wilkinson suggested cutting about four teachers, which would raise the student-teacher ratio by about one student in kindergarten through second grade. Wilkinson’s original budget included cost-of-living increases for employees that could also be trimmed, he said. Union negotiations are ongoing.