Canaan Schlesinger and Deb Mayer talked about Measure 98 and SB353 for an hour as we prepared for the interview. It soon became evident that the subject of explaining the importance of the two could not be adequately covered in a ten minute interview. So, we contacted Senator Lew Frederick to help and did our best.
Listen to KBOO as Deb Mayer and Senator Lew Frederick talk about Measure 98 and how SB353-1 attempts to make funding it more practical for local school districts.
On April 6, 2017, members of PAA Oregon and others traveled to Salem to give testimony before the Senate Education Committee in support of Senator Lew Frederick's revised SB33-1 which considerably weakens the provisions set forth in Measure 98.
Laurie Wimmer, Deb Barnes, Deb Mayer, Mary Thamann, and Kris Alman were among those pointing out the hardships M98, without the proposed amendments, would have on local school districts.
Senator Lew Frederick wants school districts to have local
control in spending funds appropriated by Measure 98.
Senator Kruse was particularly supportive of trusting school districts and educators to know how best to support their students and best help them succeed in school. Senator Roblan and Hass suggested to the business panel that funding M 98 means less funding for the rest of K-12 on top of cuts due to the budget shortfall.
The business panel -- those not supporting the amendments -- seemed to think that the only way schools will provide CTE programs is if the legislature forces them to do so. They talked about how much they already do to provide CTE opportunities to students, but they can't do it all. The Ed Committee seemed as vexed as I was at their whining. Dave Rosenfeld from Stand for Children seemed to think the state coffer is his own corporate bank account, and the state should pay up even if it has a $1.7 billion dollar budget shortfall. All seemed to ignore the fact that if corporations would pay their fair share of taxes, we most likely wouldn't have this problem. Watch the business panel fumble at answering questions at about 1:20 mark.
Contact your Legislators
It's as easy as 1-2-3-4-5. Send a No on 98 postcard to state legislators to let them know they are under no obligation to fund Measure 98. In fact, if they care about our children they will let schools decide how to spend funding, not corporations.
Open your email program.
Copy and paste the above postcard image into a new message. The image will instantly let officials know your issue.
Write a note expressing your concerns. You may cut and paste information from below.
Copy and paste email addresses of pertinent lawmakers listed below.
Senate Education Committee email addresses. Just cut and paste the entire thing:
My name is Deb Mayer. I represent Parents Across America Oregon. I’m here in support of Senator Lew Frederick’s SB353-1.
There were three ballot measures having to do with education in the last election. Measure 99 proposed outdoor school for all with a funding stream. Plain and simple. It passed. Measure 97 proposed that certain corporations pay more in taxes to adequately fund our public schools. Plain and simple. It failed. Then there was Measure 98. It proposed a complex, convoluted, costly, and inequitable plan to raise graduation rates by using less than the most effective methods. Not plain. Not simple. Not funded. So, what in the heck is Measure 98 anyway?
Here’s what we do know. Measure 98 was proposed by Stand for Children, a corporation that is largely funded by Bill Gates and other billionaires and millionaires. Quite frankly, Stand for Children is a mouthpiece for the billionaire elite who want to run our public schools. Their strategy is nothing short of genius. They figure that by spending a few million dollars of their own money to promote Measure 98, they will gain access to $150 million a year from the state budget. If Bill Gates wants M98 so badly for Oregon’s kids, let him fund it. He can afford it! Oregon can’t. From the beginning, M98 was deceptively promoted. Most voters would not have voted for it if they had known it’s true origin and intent. We should look into who profits from M98 before giving up one-cent to fund it. I urge law makers to investigate and follow the money. Who will win and who will lose?
I implore the ODE to shun the advice of Stand for Children. They are not education experts. They do not work in the best interest of children or educators. They didn’t lift a finger to pass Measure 97, but now want one percent of the state budget to fund their pet project? They’d take money from Medicaid to pay for it? That’s just sick. Frankly, I for one am sick and tired of traveling to Salem as a grassroots organizer only to find the state favors inane policies promoted by this phony astroturf corporation. This has got to stop! Parents Across America Oregon urges that M 98 not be funded at all. But if it is, only as in the amended version of the bill, SB353-1, as presented by Senator Frederick.