Oregon Colleges Call on State To Spend More on Education Issues

From Oregon Colleges Co-Chairs Budget and Stakeholders Budget Makes Clear

It’s Time to Raise Revenue for Colleges in Oregon.

The budget released today from the Oregon Colleges Co-Chairs makes it clear that there is insufficient state funding to support Oregon students from cradle to career. At public universities and community colleges, the proposed state appropriation in the budget will result in large tuition increases and Oregon’s $18 billion student debt crisis will continue to grow at an unacceptable rate.

Additionally, there will be cuts to higher education programs, services and workforce that will impact students’ ability to complete their education and get a job.

Oregon cannot afford to continue business as usual in our classrooms and on our campuses. Our students will suffer and our economy will struggle. Those who cannot afford a postsecondary degree will see opportunities foreclosed and the socio-economic divide will further widen.

The only solution for Oregon’s struggling education system is new revenue. Our students and our state deserve nothing less.

“The budget released today is simply not enough. When I look at that budget I think what that means for me and my peers in terms of tuition increases, debt taken on, additional work hours added, or meals skipped because we don’t have enough money for groceries. Students cannot afford another tuition increase, or more cuts to our valued faculty and staff, or cuts to the support services that help us succeed. We need the state of Oregon to get real about funding the full education spectrum.” –Lizbeht Marquez Gutierrez, Sophomore, Western Oregon University

Oregon students entering college today have known nothing but cuts to public education. They were born as the Legislature held a record five special sessions to slash budgets. They have watched class sizes grow, school years shorten, extracurricular activities disappear, and tuition skyrocket.

Oregon simply cannot afford to fail another generation of students. With new resources, in addition to reducing the tuition burden on students, colleges will dramatically increase the number of career and technical education (CTE) graduates and universities will expand access to vital student services that promote on-time graduation. It’s time to restore the cuts, it’s time to fund our schools, it’s time to stop student debt, it’s time to invest in Oregon.

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