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Superintendents: State K-12 Budget "Woefully Inadequate"

Bethel School District

In a letter to state legislators from Lane County, local school superintendents say the K-12 budget proposed for the next two years is "woefully inadequate".  The $7.3 billion spending plan is headed for votes in the full House and Senate, likely next week.

Colt Gill is superintendent of Bethel School District in Eugene. He says the district is preparing to offer state-mandated full-day kindergarten in September. It's also trying to keep up with rising costs of maintaining the district's services.

Gill: "And so this budget that's been developed by the Ways and Means committee at the legislature covers enough to do one of those things, either match those roll up costs or implement full-day kindergarten. But it doesn't offer enough to do both."

Gill is hopeful legislators will boost the 2 year spending plan to at least $7.5 billion for K-12 schools which would help them break even. He says Oregon's school system is falling short. If lawmakers want to get the state back up to the national average, Gil says, they need to add millions more.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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