Governor Kulongoski Highlights Education Successes of 2005 Legislative Session

Governor Kulongoski is traveling the state to discuss three education measures that are part of his vision for Oregon’s “education enterprise” – a seamless education system from pre-kindergarten through graduate school. He will also talk to Oregonians about his priority to end the trend of disinvestment in higher education.

“We cannot continue to approach education through the rearview mirror if we want to create a prosperous and sustainable economy for Oregon’s future,” Governor Ted Kulongoski said. “We must create a quality and seamless education system that is accountable to our citizens and our students – one that creates the opportunity for greater investment so Oregon has the workforce and citizenry to compete in a global economy.”

House Bills 3184, 5514 and 5584 are three of the accomplishments that came out of the 2005 legislature. These new pieces of legislation will deliver more dollars to the classroom by creating school system efficiencies, making critical investments in Oregon’s community colleges and four-year institutions infrastructure, and expanding access and affordability to post-secondary education for low-income students.

School System Efficiencies: House Bill 3184 establishes three pilot Education Service District (ESD) structures to identify cost savings in central office business and administrative functions for school districts to free up more dollars for the classroom. The three ESDs leading the pilot programs are: Northwest Regional ESD; Willamette ESD; and High Desert ESD.

Post-Secondary Capital Construction: House Bill 5514 marks the first investment in infrastructure construction at community colleges in more than 25 years, dedicating more than $38 million for seven projects statewide. It is also largest capital construction investment in state history for Oregon universities, investing more than $410 million in new construction and deferred maintenance.

Opportunity Grants: House Bill 5584 fully funds the Opportunity Grant program and for the first time since its inception will be available to part-time students. The measure appropriates $78 million to the Oregon Student Assistance Commission, for the biennium beginning July 1, 2005, and represents a 71 percent increase so that all eligible full-time and part-time students can receive grant awards.

Posted on September 27, 2005
Education, Front Page News