Gov. John Kitzhaber proposed several reforms to generate more teaching and learning from the money the state spends on schools.
Besides the regular state school funding, which covers 65 percent of school expenses while the rest comes from local taxes and other sources, the governor’s budget calls for:
• More online options for students with the goal that ultimately any student can have access to a full-time virtual school.
• Rather than diverting 4.75 percent of school funding to education service districts, giving the money directly to school districts.
• Recalculating the formula for transportation grants to promote efficiency, “freeing additional funds for direct classroom activities.”
• Incentives to promote consolidation of school districts and schools. The budget says it’s less costly to operate buildings at or near capacity.
• Eliminating the “facilities grant portion” of the school fund formula, giving schools an additional $25 million to help students succeed.
The online school recommendation cites the recent Reset Cabinet report that such schools cost 70-80 percent of a traditional schools.