Effects of ballot measures unclear

Liam Hughes

The Charter News

 

Following the 2016 elections, the only thing that people seemed to talk about was the presidential race. While it is certainly a significant topic to discuss, it appeared to overshadow some of the other important, local elections. In this case, the statewide measures. Which measures got passed, and how can they affect Oregon, and its citizens?

First of all, which measures will affect education? There was a total of three statewide measures on the ballot this year, and all three were passed.

Measure 95-

“Amends Constitution: Allows investments in equities by public universities to reduce financial risk and increase investments to benefit students”

In other words, it grants the right for publically-funded universities to invest in different equities to help decrease costs and risks. Measure 95 could help increase the quality of schools, by giving public universities other sources of income, reducing their dependance on public funding.

Measure 98-

“Requires state funding for dropout-prevention, career and college readiness programs in Oregon high schools”

This measure says that the state is now required to fund initiatives for dropout-prevention, and programs to help students become prepared for college, and careers, in every Oregon high school. This could help raise the graduation rate in Oregon, which was 73.8% in 2014-2015, and reduce the unemployment rate for college age students.

We do not know how it will affect us. We do know that for most other districts, they might add career and technical programs for their district. They already have CAIS for Oregon City High School, so they may add to the programs in CAIS. We are still waiting for our district to decide.

“It depends on how the actual legislature is written.” Mr. Chapin said.

Measure 99-

“Creates “Outdoor School Education Fund,” continuously funded through Lottery, to provide outdoor school programs statewide”

Measure 99 will take a portion of lottery funds to provide outdoor school programs for the entire state. Outdoor school, while it is not as pertinent as dropout prevention, it is still an interesting and healthy education addition. In Oregon City, the bill should help recover the funding that was previously cut from outdoor school.

“It is a positive thing anytime kids get out to see nature,” Mr. Chapin commented.

There was one measure dedicated to veteran services, and it was passed about 83% to 16%. It is measure 96. Its text states:

“Amends Constitution: Dedicates 1.5% of state lottery net proceeds to funding support services for Oregon veterans”

This measure basically takes 1.5% of overall lottery proceeds and puts it to good use, funding programs to help Oregon veterans. While 1.5% does not seem like a big amount, if you take 1.5% from the current megabucks prize, which is $137,000,000; you get $2,055,000. The actual net proceeds is more than that, so it has great potential to help many veterans.

The measures that were passed this last year focus on important things, like education, and veterans. Not all of the measures were included in this, because the focus of this is reviewing the measures that were passed, and the ones that concern funding. These can give us hope for the future, and can help current and future students, and current and future veterans. So, here’s to a new year, with new opportunities.

Sources:

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/high-school-graduation-rates-by-state.html accessed Jan 11, 2017

http://www.oregonlottery.org/games accessed Jan 11, 2017

http://results.oregonvotes.gov/resultsSW.aspx?type=MEASURE&map=CTY accessed Jan 11, 2017

https://ballotpedia.org/Oregon_Public_University_Diversification_of_Investments,_Measure_95_(2016)  accessed Jan 11, 2017

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