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Governor's Recommended Budget Released - K-12 Funding Prioritized

Today, Governor Kate Brown released the Governor’s Recommended Budget (GRB) for the 2019-21 biennium.  By law, the budget must be balanced and includes spending and investment priorities from all major revenue sources such as the General Fund, Lottery Funds, Federal Funds and Other Funds (fees, assessments, earnings, marijuana taxes, etc.). It also includes funding for capital projects through bond sales or other debt financing. The GRB is our first opportunity to review the spending and investment priorities of Governor Brown prior to the start of the 2019 Legislative Session. 

The GRB includes a base, balanced budget using available revenues and an investment budget based on passage of a significant revenue package.  In summary, the GRB prioritizes K-12 education expenditures in the base, balanced budget and proposes significant K-12, early learning, and higher education investments tied to new revenue.

Key expenditures in the base balanced budget include:

  • An $8.97 billion State School Fund, plus $100 million to help pay down the K-12 PERS liability, for a total allocation of $9.07 billion.  This is $300 million above the State’s K-12 current service level (CSL) calculation of $8.77 billion.
  • $170 million for Measure 98;
  • $100 million for Seismic Rehabilitation Grants;
  • $100 million for the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching program (OSCIM);
  • $16 million for scholarships and educator pathway programs (grow your own) developed in partnership with school districts, ESDs, and higher education to diversify the K-12 workforce and help address workforce shortages;
  • $6.3 million to implement the recommendations of the Safe and Effective Schools for All Task Force; and
  • $10.8 million in additional funding for the African American/Black Student Success State Plan and the American Indian/Alaska Native State Plan

Key investments tied to the revenue package include:

  • Creation of a $793 million K-12 school improvement fund to provide for QEM recommended class sizes in grades K-3 and a full school year (180 days) for every district;
  • An additional $133 million to fully fund Measure 98 ($303 million total)
  • $585 million for higher education;
  • $285 million for expanding early learning opportunities for 10,000 low income children during the 19-21 biennium; and a
  • $45.6 million EI/ECSE funding increase;

Combined, the base balanced budget and the investment package for K-12 totals more than $10.15 billion.

Here are some links to today’s GRB release and materials for more information:

Governor's Budget Message and Executive Summary 

Governor's Recommended Budget (full document)

Today’s budget is a very encouraging step toward providing K-12 schools the funding necessary to serve the needs of all students.  Investments in K-12 are clearly prioritized and it gives our advocacy efforts credibility and momentum heading into the 2019 Session. 

As the hard work of the Session looms, it is important to know that 2019 will be a real opportunity to fundamentally change the trajectory for Oregon and its children.  The Governor’s budget and the work of the Joint Committee on Student Success are overwhelmingly positive and aligned with COSA’s priorities.  And revenue reform feels very tangible – The Oregonian has reported that Senate President Peter Courtney has said the Legislature should consider a multibillion dollar tax increase in 2019 to boost K-12 education spending.

Please contact Morgan Allen at if you have any questions or need additional information.