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SPECIAL ALERT on Oregon's Education Budget


Oregon's Education Budget

Dear friends, teachers, and parents,

Many of you have contacted me with concerns about Oregon’s proposed education budget. I share your frustration that the current education budget is inadequate—it is. I am writing you to tell you to keep the pressure on me and my fellow legislators to increase education funding throughout the session with your calls, emails, testimony, and trips to the Capitol.
The $7.255 billion proposed education budget will likely pass the House today. It is not anywhere close to enough to reverse the decades of cuts to education budgets. However, it is a starting place for funding education this session, and it will slightly increase the amount of per-student funding districts receive, protect our previous investments, and provide every child a full day of kindergarten.

Back in the 1980s, our state was able to summon the resources to provide an adequate education for our students. For decades, I have watched in frustration as our state disinvested in our public education system. The need to rebuild public education is what motivated me to run for the legislature fifteen years ago, and it continues to be my main priority today.
The state is in a tough spot right now. We still need to identify $140 million in the budget to put toward our healthcare system in order to provide adequate coverage and care for all Oregonians, and we must also find tens of millions of dollars so that we can protect our public safety programs.
We will be working to add more resources to the K-12 budget throughout the rest of the session, and we will have a better idea about our options after May’s revenue forecast.
Getting to the funding levels that are really needed won’t be possible with our current revenue system, where the largest and most profitable businesses pay among the lowest effective tax rates in the nation. Changing that will require robust conversations, starting with convincing our neighbors, local business leaders, and broader communities that putting back enough funding to get our school, community college, and university funding back to reasonable levels is essential for Oregon to prosper.
As chair of the House Revenue Committee, I’ll keep working hard on legislation to raise funds for education. This task, like anything worth doing, will be incredibly difficult. It will require a long term effort and a large, wide-ranging coalition of responsible Oregonians who care about the education our children receive. I urge you to continue to reach out to me and my fellow legislators on this issue. I appreciate hearing from constituents that education funding is a priority in this state. With your help we can make adequate school funding a reality.
Thank you for your hard work and serious concern for both the immediate and long-term health of Oregon’s educational system, and for believing that providing students with a quality education matters.
Phil Barnhart
State Representative
Central Linn and Lane Counties


April Town Halls
Tues Apr 14
Randy's Main Street Coffee
250 N. Main St.
Brownsville, OR

Sat Apr 18
City Hall
91136 N. Willamette St.
Coburg, OR

Sat Apr 18
Location TBD

Tue Apr 21
Creswell Coffee Co.
116 Melton Rd.
Creswell, OR
Need a Speaker?
I regularly hold coffees, town halls, and speak to other groups around the district.  If you would like me to meet with your group about Legislative work, email my office at

Contact Us
900 Court St.
Salem, OR 97301