The passing of House Bill 5519 will fund Oregon’s K-12 schools with $6.75 billion through 2015, and the 53-5 vote shows the strong support for the 17.5 percent funding increase, which adds $1 billion more in spending compared to the previous budget.

What that means for individual districts is a mixed bag, but Oregon Trail District Communications Director Julia Monteith said the district backed the right horse, planning its budget in anticipation of the bill passing. For this reason, the district gauged it’s $6.5 million to fall within the means of the expected increase.

“We’ve been so frugal with our budget that we haven’t run into the situation many districts have,” said Monteith. “We’re not in a situation where some districts are where they’re having to cut teachers, because the $6.5 million is what we had proposed, based on information from the state.”

While most lawmakers are celebrating the vote, some say the increase is not enough. Herman Baertschiger (R-Grants Pass) is one of five who voted against the bill.

“We have some of the highest class sizes in the nation and bottom-tier learning outcomes because the Legislature has consistently failed to give classrooms the resources they need to succeed,” said Baertschiger in a statement. “We had an opportunity to do so much more for schools this year, but this budget failed to capitalize on that opportunity.”

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