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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Lawmakers Begin Education Funding Debate

M.O. Stevens
Wikimedia -

Oregon lawmakers are set to open debate on the biggest chunk of the state budget.

Monday morning, a legislative panel will kick off four days of hearings on the K-12 education fund. And like usual, the budget has become a political football at the state capitol.

This year Republicans have been circulating a significantly larger number than Democrats have in terms of how much state money should go to K-12 education.

Republicans like to say it means that they are prioritizing education spending. Democrats say ‘well, that's fine and good, but what are you going to cut elsewhere? What are you going to cut from corrections, or human services to provide that extra funding?’

Both parties say they want to approve the K-12 budget as quickly as possible so local districts can begin to plan ahead for the upcoming school year with a better sense of how much state funding they'll receive.