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Teachers to walk out May 8 in historic state action

State Rep. Julie Fahey says the decline in funding began in 1990.

Posted: May 6, 2019 6:17 PM
Updated: May 7, 2019 2:21 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Thirty years after the largest teacher strike in state history, educators in Eugene will make history again as they walk out of their schools May 8 and head to Salem as a part of the first statewide teacher walk out.

RELATED: 4J schools to close for May 8 walkout, officials say

"We are hopeful that for the first time in decades we have a legislature made up of pro-education elected officials, a super majority which is what it takes in Oregon to raise revenue," said Tad Shannon, president of the Eugene teacher's union.

MORE: School districts preparing for teacher walkout on May 8

State Rep. Julie Fahey says the decline in funding began in 1990 when tax measure five passed by a ballot measure vote, limiting school districts in how they could raise money for their schools.

Ever since then, she says the state has come up short in education funding.

"We have 30 years of chronic under-funding for our education system. That means our class sizes are too large. Our graduation rates are too low. We have lack of access to mental health and other services for our students," said Fahey.

According to the Department of Education, over the last eight years average teacher salaries in Oregon have gone down three percent while average spending per student has increased. 

The walkout will affect each school district differently and KEZI will have full coverage on Wednesday. 

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