Longer school years? Smaller classes? More counselors, science and music classes?
Those are some of the ideas kicking around Salem as lawmakers contemplate how to spend a proposed $2 billion business tax hike for schools. The money could be a welcome boost for Oregon educators, parents and kids, who have endured nearly 20 years of schools funding well below the national average.
However, if the governor and Legislature don’t act to insulate schools then Oregon’s pension crisis will consume a quarter of the tax hike over the next two-year budget cycle and far more in later years, according to an analysis the Oregon Business Council issued last week, based on forecasts from the state’s pension actuary.