The Protest Features

Dezmond Remington, Co-Editor in Chief

Schools require money. Without it, nothing could function. On Feb 18, educators from all over Oregon met in Salem at the capitol to protest for more money at the March for Our Students. The March is a cause that would deeply benefit teachers and students all over the state. The changes brought by the money would, “do what’s best for our kids,” explained science teacher Shana Hains, who attended the march. “That should always be our goal.”
More money “would insure quality teachers,” according to Hains. “Making contact with the students is the number one way to keep them in school.” With Oregon being one of the lowest-ranking states in graduation rates, keeping people in school should be of utmost importance. With quality teachers to make connections with, people who previously would have abandoned school or never graduated will stay.
Where the money would come from is of paramount importance. However, the issue of where, is, fortunately enough, built into Oregon law. The tax kicker, a tax rebate given when a state funding surplus exists, offers a solution for the funding issue. “What we’re saying is that we should keep the surplus,” said Hains, “and use it to fund education.” No one is being taxed extra for this; all of the benefits from having an improved education would come from funds already in existence. And those funds would not be insignificant. According to the Oregon Department of Revenue, there was a $463 million kicker in 2017. That would be enough money to fund lots of teachers and do other things that would make schools better for everyone.
More money would not just make for better teachers, but also for “smaller class sizes,” said Hains. “That would be nice, as I know that some classes are filled to the bursting point and could definitely use less people in them.” For the K-3 classes, “that’s especially nice, as then the students can learn better than in a classroom with a lot more students in them. That’s critical when they’re younger, so that the basic concepts they use for the rest of their lives can be more easily learned.” With more money, all of this would be possible. Public education can be maximized. With more money, life can be improved for the masses.