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Oregon Educators Attend Inauguration, Look To Federal Aid

January 22, 2009

Washington, D.C. – A delegation of Oregon educators in Washington, D.C. for President Obama's inauguration is also using the trip to meet with some of the state's Congressional delegation. The group intends to learn more about the new president's plans to increase funding for public schools and is hoping the next federal stimulus package takes pressure off Oregon's badly strained education funding streams.

According to Oregon Education Association President Larry Wolf, a lack of money is one of the biggest challenges facing schools across the state.

"We just got a budget forecast from the governor's office showing that we'd be down somewhere between $300 million and $600 million in the current year; and in the next biennium, we could be as much as $2 billion in the hole."

Wolf warns that, if the education shortfall is not made up with the help of federal dollars, Oregon's schools could face the kinds of cuts they experienced in 2001.

"The results of that were basically devastating to schools. We saw shortened school years; we also saw programs like music and things like that being cut."

Wolf hopes Congress will take Obama's advice to put aside partisan politics and work with the new administration to improve funding for education.

More information is available on the Oregon Education Association Web site, at

Bruce Kennedy, Public News Service - OR