Governor Kitzhaber has launched a bold initiative to revamp Oregon's education budget process with the goals of improving transparency, eliminating barriers across agencies and focusing on outcomes. He has formed an Education Investment Team who will begin the task of building a model for funding the entire education continuum from Pre-K to grade 20. E3: Employers for Education Excellence has been asked to take a leadership role in this endeavor with Duncan Wyse, our Executive Director, serving as the head of the Governor's Education Investment Team Budget Work Group.
The existing process of developing and proposing education budgets is focused on institutions rather than students. Agencies come forward separately and highlight gains, threats, opportunities, and challenges from their institutions' own perspectives. The Governor proposes to fundamentally change this system. Rather than move through sectors (K-12, community colleges, and universities), budget and policy development would be organized around groups of students. Budget reviews would focus on the ultimate customer (the student) and would require agencies to develop joint proposals for areas in which they share common students and/or offer comparable programs. Budget decisions would identify the leverage points with the highest likelihood of advancing state education goals. Agencies would identify needed policy support, infrastructure, and funding.
Governor Kitzhaber recognizes the revolutionary potential of the redesigned education budget model and embraces the work already begun by E3 and the Oregon Business Council to develop a concrete plan for building an education budget model that establishes solid underpinnings for dramatically improved education outcomes among PreK-20 students. To further this goal, the Governor has presented SB 909 creating the Oregon Education Investment Board which will take the place of existing governance structures and will guide the transformation of Oregon's education system. It will establish standards and assessments, will model curriculum for a progression of learning at all levels and will create a measurement system to guide and track progress. The Board will design a model of purchasing that centers on students and their learning, and that funds programs that get results.
Learn more about Oregon’s budget challenge at the Oregon Business Plan site.
While SB 909 works its way through the Oregon legislature, the Budget Work Group will pave the way for education budget redesign by:
- Identifying key design and policy work based on information about current spending and performance.
- Developing and testing a learner-centered budget to present to the Ways and Means Education Subcommittee which will provide a concrete understanding of what the budget model will look like and shape the budget and policy decisions in the current legislative session.
- Providing a detailed roadmap for the Governor's Education Investment Board on how to produce a consolidated, student-centered, outcomes-based budget for 2013 and beyond.
- The budget team will draw on existing data and participant input to develop a model for a new budget process by preparing a report that summarizes investments made in education in the current legislative session and the anticipated outcomes of these investments.
- We will determine who learners and learning groups are demographically, how much we are spending per learner currently, how services are delivered currently, which changes would improve the effectiveness of the current delivery system and what outcomes should we expect from the current education funding level.
- We will also consider how much is being allocated for state-level capacity to guide the education enterprise overall and determine what outcomes we can expect over the next two years toward 1) creating a seamless system of education standards and assessments, 2) creating a unified data system that tracks student progress and institutional performance, and 3) creating a budget system that presents outcomes and student spending in a way that helps decision-makers.
- Results of these studies will be presented to the Education Investment Board, the Ways and Means Education Subcommittee and other interested parties.
- A final design and implementation plan will be presented to the newly created Oregon Education Investment Board, which should begin its work this summer.
- Public Strategies Group
The overall work process will yield new, tangible budget structures, persuasive policy recommendations, and beneficial stakeholder involvement.