Oregon voters will be asked to approve or reject 26 ballot questions on Election Day this November. The following are descriptions of the education-related measures, as well as other measures that opponents say could affect school funding or school employee unions.
Measure 1: Would amend the state constitution to require the legislature to fund public schools adequately to meet the state’s education goals. The legislature would have to show that the funding was sufficient or explain to what extent budget shortfalls would limit schools’ ability to reach those goals. The measure would also establish grants for property-poor districts that levy “local option” taxes for schools.
- Measure 8: Would amend the state constitution to limit all state spending to no more than 15 percent of Oregonians’ total personal income for the two years immediately preceding the budget period. Any money collected that exceeded the limit would be returned to taxpayers.
- Measure 9: Would amend state statutes to bar public schools from teaching students about homosexuality and bisexuality in a manner that “encourages, promotes, or sanctions” the behavior. The measure would eliminate diversity lessons that include discussions about homosexuality and bisexuality.
- Measure 91: Would amend the state constitution to allow taxpayers to deduct all of their federal income taxes from their state income taxes.
- Measure 92: Would add a new section to the state constitution to prohibit employee- payroll deductions for political purposes unless the employee permitted the deductions in writing. The provision would affect teachers’ unions and other organizations.
- Measure 93: Would amend the state constitution to require any new or increased state or local taxes, fees, or charges to be approved by the same percentage of voters as the one approving this measure. The state would also have to provide Oregonians refunds for certain revenues raised through increases in taxes, fees, or charges after December 1998.
- Measure 95: Would amend the state constitution to mandate that public schools, colleges, and universities link teacher pay raises and layoffs to students’ academic performance. The measure would also limit cost-of-living salary increases to the consumer price index.
- Measure 98: Would add a new section to the state constitution to forbid the use of public resources (money, employee time, buildings, equipment, and supplies) for political purposes. The measure would also prohibit payroll deductions if the money were being used to pay for political activities of any kind.
SOURCE: Oregon Secretary of State.