Home Opinion Editorials TOO CLOSE TO SCHOOL YEAR FOR MORE CUTS
TOO CLOSE TO SCHOOL YEAR FOR MORE CUTS
Too close to school
year for more cuts
Oregon is in a no-win situation when it comes to funding services for the second half of the biennium. Gov. John Kitzhaber is in the unenviable position of deciding between a package of quick-fixes approved by the Legislature, thus pushing off the brunt of the revenue shortfall to next year, or nixing the package and forcing schools, universities and other government-funded programs to cut back even more than they already have.
KITZHABER HELD a public hearing in Portland Thursday to gather input on how people view the Legislature's package. People who attended fell into one of three camps those who believe budgets should be cut to match the revenue shortfall, those who want new taxes to pay for education funding, and, as an Associated Press story said, "those who simply want him to hold his nose and pass the Legislature's plan.''
Kitzhaber has been leaning toward vetoing the Legislature's plan and making the cuts, saying the funding plan doesn't offer any solutions and only delays the crisis. "I've come to the conclusion that risking these cuts is better than allowing the funding to go forward,'' he said.
PHILOSOPHICALLY, THE GOVERNOR is right. The Legislature's plan only postpones some tough decisions. It doesn't fix anything. But at this point into the year and with school starting in about a month, hoisting additional cuts onto the backs of local school districts wouldn't be in the best interest of kids. Although The Observer opposed the Legislature's proposed raid on the Education Endowment Fund in the last election, this time around we'll hold our nose and give it and the Legislature's plan a lukewarm endorsement.
The governor is a lame duck and can stand on principle. But the reality is that the legislative package will provide some room for finding real solutions so that kids and seniors and university students aren't unwitting victims of these tough times. The onus will be on the next Legislature to come up with a long-term
THE SECRET TO SUCCESS
No, money does not guarantee a smooth ride through life. But it does keep the engine tuned up, and if you stay in school, you're more likely to make more money.
A CENSUS BUREAU study released recently projected a college graduate with a bachelor's degree can expect to earn $2.1 million working full-time between the ages of 25 and 64, compared to $1.2 million for a high school graduate.
There are exceptions. Bill Gates, a college dropout, helped found Microsoft and may be the richest man in the world. And any number of college degrees does not make one immune to layoffs and other business and health setbacks. Staying in school, though, does increase one's odds of success in life.