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Governor’s Budget Invests in Education

EUGENE, Ore. — The state got a glimpse at how its money will be spent in the next couple years.

Governor Kitzhaber rolled out his budget during a press conference in Salem Friday morning.

One of the main focuses of the new budget is putting education first. That’s been a focus during the governor’s terms in office, and local school administrators say they hope the state will be able to stick to what’s outlined.

The new budget proposes $8 billion for education in the 2013 to 2015 budget biennium. This includes reinvestment in K-12 education and further efforts to fully integrate early learning, K-12 and post-secondary education and career training. Local administrators say this will help maintain stability as everyone works toward the goal of 40-40-20 by 2025.

“I think there’s a lot of discussion that will happen between now and when the final budget is passed, but it’s a good start in that direction. It’s the right start. It is an increase. I wish it was more, but it’s a good start,” said Sheldon Berman, 4J Superintendent.

To make these improvements happen, the governor hopes to find huge savings in reforms to PERS, health care and public safety.

The budget also looks to investing in jobs. For example, it’ll seek to fund more than $1 billion in core infrastructure projects, such as transportation improvements, seismic upgrades and funding the Interstate 5 bridge replacement. That should get Oregonians back to work.

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