Oregon Public School Funding and Equalization, Measure 1 (2000)

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Oregon Ballot Measure 1 (2000) appeared on the November 7, 2000 as an initiated constitutional amendment that adds a provision relating to public education funding to Article VIII. Public education includes education provided by school districts, community colleges, public universities and other public education providers.

Election results

This measure passed by a large margin at the November 2000 general election, and became section 8 of Article VIII of the Oregon Constitution.

Measure 1
Approveda Yes 940,223 66.32%

The measure requires the legislature to fund a sufficient amount of money to meet public education quality goals as established by the legislature. The measure also requires the legislature to publish a report that demonstrates to the public that the funding for public education is sufficient to meet the quality goals or must state the reasons for any insufficiency, the extent of the insufficiency and the impact that will have on the ability of public education providers to meet the quality goals.[1]

Lawsuit based on Measure 1 fails

In Pendleton School District v. State of Oregon, 18 school districts and seven students alleged that Oregon is in violation of the terms of this 2000 ballot measure and sought an injunction directing the Oregon State Legislature to appropriate the funds that the plaintiffs believed were legally required by Measure 1.

A lower state court and then the Oregon Supreme Court ruled against the plaintiffs. The state's high court ruling came in January 2009. Writing for the court, Chief Justice Paul De Muniz said that although the court agreed with the plaintiffs that the legislature had failed to fully fund public schools, the court had concluded that when Oregon voters passed Measure 1, they did not intend for the courts to enforce its funding requirements.[2],[3]

Official ballot title

Amends Constitution: Legislature Must Fund School Quality Goals Adequately; Report; Establish Grants[4]


John A. Kitzhaber, MD, Stan Bunn, and Ronald E. Timpe


[5] The Oregon School Boards Association supported the measure, saying, "it allows voters to understand where their education dollars are going."They also argued that the measure does not change local control over schools, "Measure 1 simply holds state decision-makers responsible for their funding decisions".

Chief petitioner John Kitzhaber, a physician and Governor of Oregon from 1995-2003[6], said, "The measure was crafted to change the debate about school funding from 'how much to spend?' to 'what education services are we buying?' It does so by requiring the legislature to fund schools so students can reach the high standards set in law. If the legislature fails to do so, its members must detail the effects of their funding decision on the ability of our students to meet standards."

James Sager of the Oregon Education Association supported the measure because it requires that the public gets the whole story of what the state is spending on education and where exactly that money is going.

The Oregon PTA favored the funding the measure provides for schools, and argued that it was unfair for the state to set such high goals for teachers and students without providing adequate monetary support.


[7] The Parents Education Association publicly opposed the measure, believing that public funding of schools should actually be decreased. They argued that it is not the government's job to educate children. The self described "family based, biblical" organization also opposes the secular nature in which public schools teach.

See also

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