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Board first to sign education pledge


Forest Grove panel backs OSBAs capitol-bound funding resolution

The Forest Grove School Board became first in the state to sign a resolution supporting the Oregon School Boards Association’s “Strong Schools, Strong State” K-12 funding campaign Feb. 11.

By a 4-0 vote, members Alisa Hampton, John Hayes, Kate Grandusky and Fred Marble agreed to join new OSBA executive director Betsy Miller-Jones in her efforts to “prioritize education in our state investments by supporting adequate and stable funding” by ensuring a “full academic school year for every child in Oregon and prevents further program cuts, staff reductions or loss of school days,” the resolution reads.

Miller-Johnson, who lobbied for the resolution at last week’s board meeting, said Forest Grove was her first stop on a series of appearances to promote “Strong Schools, Strong State.”

She said Gov. John Kitzhaber “has made education funding a priority” and that the OSBA “wants to make sure we’re part of the group that gets that done” during the current legislative session.

A press conference on the capitol steps in Salem today kicked off that effort.

Superintendent Yvonne Curtis told Miller-Jones that her district stands ready to “help mobilize our Washington County partners” after a Jan. 17 gathering of superintendents and board members from across the county resulted in reinvigorated support for stable K-12 funding.

“We now have a way to quickly call Washington County board members to respond” to the OSBA’s clarion call, Curtis noted.

Among other things, the resolution notes that Oregon’s state budget “has included a shrinking share of funds available to K-12 public education, from about 45 percent of the state budget in 2003-05 to about 38 percent” in the governor’s proposed K-12 budget for the 2013-15 biennium.

Marble, the Forest Grove board's longest-term member, is also a member of the OSBA board.