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State Budget Plan Depends On PERS Savings

The latest state budget plans released Monday in Salem are drawing mixed reviews from the education community.

Legislative budget writers have proposed a plan that looks a lot like the one Governor John Kitzhaber rolled out a few months ago.

The Oregon School Boards Association is applauding the new proposal.

The group says it recognizes “the importance of adequate school funding.”  But the association also says it may not be sufficient to restore recently cut programs.

Leaders in other education sectors predict more cuts.

Preston Pulliams is president of Portland Community College. He says the budget is more than $80 million short of what community colleges need.

“We are planning now some program contraction. Also, we are laying off some of our faculty members – our part-time faculty members for sure. Because we just can’t make this balance.”

Both the governor’s proposal and the legislators’ plan depend on cost-saving changes to the Public Employee Retirement System.

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