Hey, how about not sending Oregon's National Guard to Iraq? That way the State can save on a lot of things like lost wages for our guards people, support for their families and ultimately the care of the widow/er and their family. Not that I want to see any more death, quite the contrary. We need transparency and honesty in the Government/Military. Not lies and deception.
Absolutely, well put.
Hey, lets not send anymore troops to Iraq that should save billons. We migh not get it all back within this biennial, but over the course of a few years we will make it back and then some.
I do not envy our elected officials the task that is ahead of them. However, I think it is imperative that they prioritize education and other children's programs; safety is important for our kids, but so is our and their future.
Will we remain economically viable and/or grow our productivity down the road by educating our homegrown Oregonians well, and thus increasing their effectiveness? Will we attract great companies whose employees are looking at the quality of schools?
Good schools are good for the economy. Of course, it's not just about money - there are other things we need to do, too! -- but we've been undercutting our schools year after year after year. Last year's increase didn't bring our schools back to their previous level of effectiveness, and what kind of message are we sending to kids if we persist in closing their schools and cutting their excellent new teachers?
My little brother JUST got interested in school -- he has young, new and high quality teachers who have helped to motivate him. He's started to make it a priority - last year he failed, and right now he has As and Bs. That's a huge difference. If he loses a whole month off of this next trimester, what message does that send about the priority level of education for our state?
If those challenging and motivating new teachers are laid off because of cuts, what does that do to his morale, and the morale of his peers? And, then, what does this mean for the future? Is my brother going to end up a drain on the system, because he doesn't learn the skills he needs to get a good job?
I'm worried about the economy; we all are. I'm also worried about the steep cost of placing the brunt of the cuts on our kids - and thus our future. I hope our legislators keep this in mind as they balance the needs of now and the future.
- Get rid of the Economic and Community Development Department: $396 million.
- Cut off OHSU's state funding: $120 million.
- Get rid of the Oregon Department of Energy: $215 million.
There we go--that's more than 90%. The rest can come out of the Waste, Fraud, and Abuse budget.
Add a sales tax and the rebate it to all Oregon residents. Therefore we would gain $ from Washington residents that shop in Oregon and all tourists and other out of state purchases.
Why is it that when government is faced with a budget short fall it first turns to slashing the basic services it provides to the taxpayer?
What do you consider to be "basic services"? And what should be cut?
Primary schools tops the list in good or bad times and schools have been underfunded for a long time as a % of budget.
Transportation statewide not just the I5 Corridor.
Starting in the "A's" on this list: http://www.oregon.gov/a_to_z_listing.shtml
The state is spending about $850,000 on the 2009 to 2011 budget cycle on the “State Board of Architects Examiners.
Why is this board not self funding? Architects generally are well paid why is the taxpayer subsidising this necessary(?) task rather then the various architects that are benefiting
That question should be asked of every governmental agency.
Here is how I would lower costs: Quit locking people up for marijuana crimes and release those already in jail/prison where the crime was only possession, sale, or cultivation of marijuana. Implement a tax or fine system for possession of marijuana and lock up those who do not pay the tax.
And I would increase revenue by aggessively pursuing folks with outstanding fines, taxes, and the like. For example, if someone convicted of DUII or DWS and has not paid their fines, the state should take their car.
I agree with you, but in order to decriminalize some drug crimes, we'd need to get past the "tough on crime" bent that Oregon has bought for the past many years, and rescind some of the mandatory minimum laws in place.
We spend more on prisons that schools in Oregon.
Why do school districts always shout "poor!" and at the same time spend so much on new textbook adoptions that they don't need? Standards have changed little in the last few years and often new textbook purchases are not that different from the books that were purchased only a few years ago. I would be interested to find out how often next textbooks are purchased and how much they cost the districts.
Texts in my son's district aren't new, show signs of use. Books _are_ expensive, but for K-12 it doesn't seem to be the cash-cow that college texts tend to be.
"new textbook adoptions"
A few years ago, when radio controlled model airplane users needed a radio license, the FCC sent out their regulations in ringbinders and when anything was changed they sent out only replacement pages for the changed items. I suggest that textbooks could be replaced with similar ringbinders and any new or damaged portions could be replaced each year. That would save money and trees too.
I think the idea of cutting school days is just the silliest thing ever. For a nation and state that are already in a recession asking parents to now pay for child care for another month is just outrageous. On top of that who are and where are the people/daycare that are now going to be watching our children.
There's a simple solution to Oregon's budget problems, and indeed the nation's: Begin taxing emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.
In recessions, increased taxation is categorically opposed because it is believed to discourage investment and job creation. But emissions taxation does exactly the opposite--it encourages investment in the energy technologies of the future, and creates jobs.
Such taxation is also fair, because it simply recovers for the public the costs now externalized by polluting industries. A small emissions tax could easily balance the state budget quickly, fairly, and with minimal administrative overhead.
Did she just say that we have a 25% budget shortfall because we are heavily income tax driven? I know there is not a pre-employment math test for legislative positions but if an additional 4% of your population does not pay income taxes for about a third of your budget cycle, how does that add up to a 25% decrease in your income?
Perhaps the crisis of consumer confidence which is at the root of the issue today is partially driven by these “explaining where babies come from to a 3 year old” type rationalizations for the problem. If our legislators are either confused by or need to hide the real root of the problem, then maybe I should hoard my money…
I have a great idea if people who have kids don't want the school days to get shorter why don't we remove the child tax credit and use that money to pay for taxes
In response to Michael from Tigard, who argues that teachers should be "in the real world" is based on the assumption that a race to the bottom is good, that rather than helping private agencies have manageable health care costs, public employees should be punished as well.
You get what you pay for--let's pay well for the future of Oregon.
Also to Michael in Tigard. I have been a teacher for about 15 years. I still cannot afford a trip to Hawaii or a new car. I drive a 15 year old car and an 8 year old car. I pay my own health care (a lot!!) and my suppy budgets have been slashed dramatically. I pay now for most of my classroom items from my own pockets.
I have had to save for years to purchase new carpet for my downstairs. It, however, sounds like you're doing quite well, Michael... having to pay property taxes on "several properties".
The key to cutting a budget is to cut costs without cutting services. Salaries are typically the largest portion of a budget so start there. Look hard. Do your research and utilize your young (and free) talent to conduct CBAs- think graduate students in your university economic and policy departments.
1. Early retirements- Ask for volunteers. Don't force people into retirement but it doesn't hurt to ask. I think you might be surprised at how many people will volunteer.
2. Furrlow days- Allow people to take 14 furrlow days when they choose. Many Gen X and Gen Y workers would love to have 14 extra days off even if they are unpaid. And, while people are on vacation they spend money!
3. Consider benefit cuts- Isn't it better to have optional vision and dental rather than to have to waive goodbye to your collegues?
There are so many ways to cut a budget. You can do it without cutting essential services! Prove the public wrong. Get your scalpel out and get to it!
furrlow is spelled furlough. Ironic, in a blog about education...
We need to show the legislature our support of several things:
Do not cut school budgets. They need to see that they have backup on this. Show up at the Salem Stand for Children rally on Feb. 16th or write/call/email your representatives!
Ask for an overhaul of the tax forecast system. The way Oregon forecasts taxes is one reason we're in this situation.
Rework the Oregon min business tax. Apparently even businesses supported this when it was brought up a few years ago. Is it really fair that GE and Intel only pay $10 in tax?!?
Raising the corporate minimum tax (which was set at $10 per year in 1931), we could better finance the state. Corporations would certainly remain solvent, and indeed would benefit from the more educated workforce, better protected streets and cities, and ability to draw employees to the states for its natural, well preserved beauty.
I agree with this idea. Big corporations should pay their fair share, not $10, not double that, a ridiculous $20, but a fair percentage.
Furthermore, the state should immediately seek to close the Tax Gap, billions of dollars in uncollected taxes. I can't figure out why the Governor and the Legislature aren't more interested in this notion. They asked for a report from the Department of Revenue. This was recently delivered, and not much happened, no focused program to ferret out tax non-payers. Is there a back story we don't know about?
Michael may not remember, or even realize, that a few years ago, teachers in the Portland Public Schools worked for 10 days WITHOUT PAY to avoid a shortened school year and renegotiated a contract that increased their contributions to health care. I do wish that people would do their homework (pun intended) before picking on teachers!
If we want to save money we should put more money into background checks for volunteers. Hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers have been lost since this requirement was instituted. Volunteers are turned away because the process is cut short as soon as any incidental reason is found to do so. People who have been through hard times and discovered the tools to cope are ideal for teaching others how to recover or avoid pitfalls yet the system weeds these individuals out quite efficiently. For every dollar spent on prevention seven dollars are saved in ten to twenty years on remedial services such as special education and corrections and incarceration and the volunteer hours being turned away by DHS is in the millions. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted.
The problem could have been significantly avoided had the legislature not let the personal income tax kicker -- $1.1 billion -- kick and instead had saved it for this rainy day.
Exactly! Let your representatives know - they are ripe to get working on this issue, which I think is being refered to now as "tax forcasting reform".
And recognize that the House Republicans' response was to propose a tax cut that they don't even know how much it will cost!
As a country, we seem to be unable to fix things (education, health care, infrastructure, etc) that everyone agrees are bad, until they actually break. So maybe thas bad situation is out opportunity to actually take things apart and build the government of the future, rather than figure out how to patch up what we are constantly unhappy with now.
I think that with respect to where to cut money, we have to face the issue that in education we're already way behind, from decades of inadequate resources.
I graduated from one of the top 5 mathematics programs in the US. In my courses there, frequently there were 10-15% of the students from the US. Numerically, I was well-prepared (perfect GRE scores, graduated from UO Math), but was just barely able to keep up with the foreign students.
In the US students I teach, I consistently see symptoms of inadequate preparation. Our good students aren't as good as other countries' and our average students are not capable of learning state-of-the-art math and science.
Oregon schools are particularly horrible. Cutting school days, discouraging quality teachers, cutting training, etc., whereas it may be an easy budget solution is something we can not afford if we hope to compete as a state, as a country, in a modern technological world.
Yes, but starting with Eisenhower, we put out priorities towards the military. Do you feel "safe" with a defense budget larger than all of our enemies' combined? I don't--I see the things we've lost, and their effects. For instance, if we had basic economics classes in schools, would more folks have understood sub-prime mortgages and avoiding them, thereby preventing the current housing crisis?
Why call it a crisis at all, if it results from decades of underfunding? A crisis is something that takes you by surprise. This current funding situation started with Measure 5, 18 years ago.
I agree with you that Oregon schools are particularly horrible. My children are currently attending Oregon public schools have also attended schools in VA and in FL. My youngest son has yet to be challenged in school and has yet to bring home assignment that challenge him (e.g. I have a portfolio of his work and he is doing classroom work in Oregon in 4th grade that he completed in 1st grade in FL).
However, that being said, the is no correlation between the amount of money spent and test scores/student performance. To test my statement, simply look at any standard test score (e.g. SATs) and student performance historically. Notice that while test scores have only risen slightly, the amount of $ spent per student has risen much, much faster. The strongest correlations for performance are between class size and teacher training. It's not about the amount of money that Oregon spends on education (the % compared to some states is quite high), it's about how the money is spent. The budget for education in Oregon is more than adequate considering the outcomes. I'd be willing to bet that if you compared the amount of money spent on your public education with that of the international students that you went to college with that your governement spent more money on you than they had allotted to their public educations....
-- to respond "onassignment"
It's precisely class size and the time in seats that I'm concerned about with my son. He's in honor courses, and his teacher told me his humanities class with 28 other kids is the smallest in the school.
The school day and the year are too short. There's simply no substitute for time-on-task, and student contact hours. I do not think that the school system is the only answer to the mediocrity I see in our students (going to my son's friends' homes and seeing no books, no musical instruments, but plenty of Wii scares me too), but it's the most important part a state can control.
--Leroi Military spending is rather large in the US. On the one hand, all my grad degrees were funded at least in part by DoD, and you have to admit we "won" the cold war by spending more than USSR could. I have to say, tho, I don't know how much OR spends on its Guard, and of that money spent, how much stays local.
Let's recognize that we are in is what in logical arguments is called "reduction to absurdity" or Reductio ad absurdem; this is Conservatism reduced to its logical absurdity, utter economic failure.
Now having recognized that, we need to turn back towards progressive economics.
Define it please.
With regard to the caller who seemed to think teacher salaries were the cause of deferred maintenance because the only large salaries in a school district are teacher salaries, I would suggest examining the local school district budget. It is true that teacher salaries are more easily accessible by the public than administrative salaries. Time to change that.
It is also true that when I talk to legislators about the subject of administrator salaries, I hear that my complaint is true in many other districts.
I live in a district where teachers worked days for free in the last recession--don't tell me that teachers don't live in the real world!
But after times got better, administrators got a raise and teachers didn't. The school board did not understand why anyone would be angry about that, but that public anger led eventually to a new superintendent and a new school board.
We now have a new supt. and a new school board ---and a new recession. And school board members who can't understand why they should have had a recorded vote on the last promotion to asst. supt. and pay increases at the asst. supt., deputy supt. etc. pay level.
No school administrator is worth over $120,000. NO public administrator in the state of Oregon deserves a car allowance ---unless it is a job with constant statewide travel putting lots of miles on a car. Why not just reimbursement per mile like outside sales people?
I was a school substitute in 2 counties over 15 years in over 60 schools. For 10 of those years I had a weekend retail job to have predictable income. I understand what real work in the real world is like. And I am tired of hearing teachers bashed for costly salaries and administrators never mentioned. What on earth does an administrator do to earn that kind of money?
Or is it a Wall Street-style "what the market will bear" situation, and some people think bashing teachers as overpaid will distract from that fact?
Just what are the balances in the 'rainy day' funds we think can help in financially difficult times? Did they take a hit in the market? Would it be wise to stop using the kicker as hard times do come?
Kids deserve education to prepare them for their future and the future of our currently unstable world. Education cultivates us into mature individuals, individuals capable of planning for our futures and making the right decisions. Education is important for the economic growth of a nation. Education forms a support system for talents to excel in life. It is the backbone of society.
A large noon-time Rally organized by Stand for Children will call on the Legislature to prevent harmful cuts to education and other critical children’s programs that serve children’s programs by:
- Investing what we have wisely, funding programs that produce the best results
- Smartly utilizing reserves and any federal stimulus that comes to Oregon
- Responsibly raising revenue, ending the boom-and-bust cycle created by the kicker law
Come make your voice heard and protect our kids and schools Monday, February 16, noon on the front steps of the State Capital. Go online to register and learn more at: www.stand.org/or/rally, or call 503.235.2305, ext. 118.
Thanks for the information about the Feb. 16th Stand for Children Rally in Salem (www.stand.org). I will recruit my neighbors to attend. Daily, we stare at a once occupied, now vacant k-6 public school yard. I ask Oregonians to reexamine the kicker law. We, as a state, due to the kicker, are not able to build the reserves we need to protect us in times like these.
Don't comment on a lot, but the proposed cuts need to start in Salem and then work outwards to us peons. I use to work for the government and I could cut $millions from Salem politics, but there are too many incrdeible egos that will take it out on the taxpayers before they ever lose a position they created. Pretty sad isn't it and our Governor is the worst offender - bend over folks because it is a coming. The folks in Salem have forgotten who they really work for and we are not paying attention because of the economy...
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