Our Oregon Congressional delegation is currently debating President Obama's $825 billion rescue package. Details on the House and Senate bills and what they mean for school district's current budget gaps are changing daily. I do know state and district leaders are working hard to ensure Oregon receives these stimulus dollars in time to provide needed resources to Oregon schools. Congressional leadership has also indicated that they want a bill to President Obama by President's Day. We all are working to prevent Oregon schools from closing early this school year.
I, along with my fellow Council of Chief State School Officers board members, have urged key education lawmakers to craft an economic recovery package that will send our schools immediate budget relief and also lay the foundation for a stronger economy in the future.
Currently, both House and Senate bills contain funding to hire teachers and make improvements in Oregon school facilities. In addition, there is funding for children in poverty, homeless students, special education programs, Head Start, and a number of other vital programs.
We are getting ready at the Oregon Department of Education to ensure recovery dollars are utilized quickly to maximize their near-term economic benefits, but also that students—and taxpayers—are getting the best possible return on this critical investment.
I know the funding landscape seems to change daily. I am confident that we will wisely navigate the uncertainty of this time. I am honored to be your partner in this challenging work. Thank you for all you do for our students.