SALEM -- The revenue forecast released this morning shows that Oregon will be short at least $855 million for schools, social services and other state programs this year.
Legislative leaders and Gov. Ted Kulongoski have suggested cuts to schools and furloughs for state workers and school teachers in order to make up the gap with four months remaining in the budget period. The 2007-09 budget was set at $15 billion.
The shortfall for the 2009-11 budget period will be even larger, at least $2.5 billion short of maintaining current services.
The governor may be right that we should not dip into reserve funds, but that decision should be made based on a determination of the effectiveness of spending. Just saying that the budget is going to be worse in the future is not good enough. Perhaps fewer school days are appropriate but I doubt it. I would at least like to see a comparison of student performance based on marginal differences in instruction days and class size.