Legislative committee approves schools budget

SALEM — The budget committee of the Oregon Legislature has approved $6.55 billion in funding for primary and secondary schools over the next two years.

The Ways and Means Committee advanced the measure to the full House and Senate on Friday. The amount is about $800 million more than schools received over the last two years, a 14 percent increase.

Democrats say the money will be enough for most school districts to avoid cutting teachers or school days, although some districts will still face budget struggles.

Some Republicans voted against the funding plan, saying the Legislature should free up more money for classrooms by cutting further into pensions for teachers and other public employees.

The measure will go first to the Senate as soon as next week.

— Associated Press

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