OSBA hosts lobbying day at state Capitol; board joined by students
Steve Lowell is no stranger to lobbying the state Legislature. He’s been doing it for the last 12 years as a member of the Klamath County School Board, asking lawmakers to stabilize funding and increase the state’s investment in K-12 education.
And on Tuesday, Lowell and his fellow board members -- Denise Kandra, Jill O’Donnell, Robert Moore and John Rademacher – were at it again. Accompanied by Klamath County School District Superintendent Glen Szymoniak and 10 high school students, they spent the day visiting offices of individual lawmakers to push for additional and stable funding.
Board members also pushed for support of House Bill 2867, which would guarantee the Klamath County School District’s four small rural high schools continue to receive $2.2 million in small school funding.
“We have been here before, and every time we talk about funding and the future of education,” Lowell said. “We’ve had years with big cuts so we have to make sure the legislators hear what that would do to eastern Oregon and Klamath County.”
Lowell said school boards in the past have been faced with state funding cuts mid-year, after district budgets are already approved. The state approves a new budget every two years.
“It’s the not knowing,” he said. “Sometimes we don’t know until May. Stable funding would give us an opportunity to hire counselors, to hire additional teachers.”
The Klamath County contingent was part of a day-long lobbying effort arranged by Oregon School Board Association’s Oregonians for Student Success.
Gov. Kate Brown’s 2019-21 budget proposed $9 billion for the State School Fund, with a possible additional $1.3 billion for early learning and K-12 education. The Quality Education Model, a nonpartisan assessment of the costs of a high-quality Oregon education system, recommends $10.7 billion for the biennium.
February 22, 2019 - Lobbying For Their Future, And $2.2 Million