Today, Gov. Kate Brown announced her support for Measure 97. As someone who has spent almost 20 years advocating for better funding for our schools, this announcement is particularly exciting for me.
I’ve worked on campaign after campaign and participated in workgroup after workgroup trying to stave off ever deeper cuts to Oregon schools. It’s never been enough. So it’s no surprise that today, our class sizes are the third largest in the country, our graduation rates are the fourth lowest, and our school year is among the shortest. We are $2 billion short of fully funding our schools according to the state’s Quality Education Model.
Gov. Brown’s endorsement signals that she too believes Measure 97 is the solution we need.
Measure 97 will change all that, boosting our graduation rates and giving Oregon students and families the quality services that they deserve. When the Oregon PTA voted unanimously to support Measure 97, we went through the same process that I imagine the Governor did. We considered the more than two decades of disinvestment, Oregon’s lowest-in-the-country corporate taxes, and what the future would look like without new revenue. We decided that Measure 97 is the progressive, game-changing solution that our kids need.
Gov. Brown’s endorsement signals that she too believes Measure 97 is the solution we need. And I think that when Oregon voters do their homework, they will come to the same conclusion. With the Governor’s support, we are one important step closer to finally making the investments our state needs. It’s a good day for Oregon kids and families.
The Governor joins more than 600 endorsers working to hold corporations accountable because the future with Measure 97 is full of possibility. We can bring our class sizes in line with the national average. We can provide all Oregonians with affordable care. Our seniors will retire with the dignity that they deserve.
I started doing advocacy work for the Oregon PTA almost 20 years ago, when my son was just entering kindergarten. I was frustrated that our schools didn’t have the resources they need and thought I could make a change while he was still in school. This spring, he graduated from college. My wish for other parents is that Measure 97 means their kids get the best education possible.
It’s taken many years to get here, and today the future looks bright.