SALEM -- Time is running out for Oregon lawmakers to tackle education bills endorsed by Governor John Kitzhaber before the legistlative session ends. The Governor made a public appeal Friday during a news conference in Salem, packed with children, parents and educators.
Earlier, key legislative leaders agreed not to close prisons or cut funding for schools, but a compromise budget plan would lay off state police detectives and further tighten the belt on safety-net programs for needy families. The finalized budget outline would not tap reserves or raise taxes. Kitzhaber would sign budget bills if they reached his desk, spokesman Tim Raphael said.
We have with us today the Class of 2025 and we've promised them by 2025 we will have a 100 percent graduation rate, he said. We need to make sure we're ready for them when they enter kindergarten this September, and with your help I'm certain we'll be successful.
The state s superintendent of schools, Susan Castillo, also announced her support for the bills Friday.
As you know the legislature is heading into its final days of the session, and we still have two education bills lawmakers need to take action on so we can move forward to build a better education system for Oregon s children, she announced in a press release.
Senate Bill 1581 would require achievement compacts and clarify the Chief Education Officer s authority. House Bill 4165 would streamline and strengthen the state s early learning system.
Last year, Oregon's on-time graduation rate was 67 percent.