Money for schools is always a hot topic, even more so as the Legislature starts tackling the budget for 2011-13. Earlier this month, Gov. John Kitzhaber released his proposal, including $5.558 billion for K-12 schools. That figure, charges former Oregon House candidate Dan Lucas in an online post, sacrifices schools for the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority.
“Governor’s proposed budget raids K-12 school funds to grow DHS again” is the title of the piece, posted on the conservative-minded Oregon Catalyst. Lucas explains that Kitzhaber not only takes $225 million out of the State School Fund but that he gives the money to human services, which is growing by $333 million.
Since the budget is set anew every two years, it’s hard to trace one agency’s growth to the demise of another. But we wanted to know if Lucas’s numbers were accurate. Is K-12 losing money from the previous two-year period? Is social services growing? How much is one to blame for the other?