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Legislative Agenda

Learn more about OEA's agenda for the current legislative session.
Students and educators hold up rally signs advocating for increased funding for public education

The Oregon Education Association believes that a free, high-quality public education is a right of every student in Oregon, and that public education serves as the backbone of our state in ensuring the health of our democracy, development of our economy, and strength of our communities.

To bring that belief to life, OEA champions a wide range of legislative policies to improve public education for every student in our state. 

Our legislative agenda for the 2023 legislative session includes:

Fully Funding Schools


  • Stabilize School Funding: $10.4 billion

Given rising costs and an ongoing workforce crisis, to fully operate Oregon public schools, the 2023 budget for K-12 schools needs to be $10.4 billion. Ensuring a strong base budget is the top financial need when communicating to legislators.

  • Critical Investments in Special Education (SpEd): $300 million

Special Education is in crisis. There are not enough staff to support students with special needs. Investments must be made to improve the long-term outlook. $300 million in additional funding dedicated to SpEd programs will help put our system back on a path to support these students.

  • Increase Funding for Poverty: $150 million

Students facing poverty continue to lack the supports in schools that are critical to their success. Increasing the amount of money for these students in the school funding formula, will help districts with the resources needed to support these students.

  • Improved Funding for Recruitment/Retention: $100 million

Staffing shortages are becoming more and more difficult to mitigate. Funding programs to support the recruitment and training of new staff is going to be critical for long-term success of our education system.


  • Fully Fund Community Colleges: $850 million

Ensuring legislative support for $850 million in the state budget as community colleges face declining enrollment will be a fight. This is the top financial request for higher education when communicating to legislators.

  • Investing in Community Colleges to Support Changing Economy: $150 million

Retooling current programs to meet today’s economy is an investment that must happen for community colleges to stay strong and attract a strong community of students.

  • Increases in Oregon Opportunity Grants: $400 million

Means tested student aid will be critical to support students as the cost of higher education continues to grow. Investments in the funding programs like the Oregon Opportunity Grant will need to double to meet rising tuition costs.

Policy Priorities


  • Creating registered apprentice program through the Dept of Labor to maximize federal dollars in support of local training for the education workforce.
  • Continuing investments for programs like the ‘Grow Your Own’ and efforts to encourage and support education support professionals to seek teacher licensure will help stabilize and diversify the workforce.


  • Adding more supports for incoming and first-time educators.
  • Creating classroom size limitations.
  • Building statewide mentorship programs to support new educators and create professional development / growth opportunities for established educators.
  • Prioritizing weighted case management to truly balance the work needed to support students.
  • Adding additional adults who are certified in areas like counseling, speech pathology, and social work.
  • Removing barriers such as extended probationary periods for new employees.


  • Creating Part-Time Pay Equity to ensure our part-time faculty are paid the same amount as full-time faculty for the courses they teach.
  • Establishing statewide minimum salaries for incoming educators.
  • Requiring paid apprenticeship (student teaching) programs so their work is honored.
  • Increasing wages for educators in specialized fields like special education.
  • Building more robust student loan forgiveness programs.


  • Reforming our online charter schools, ensuring that these schools are held to the same high standards as brick-and-mortar schools.


  • Support a cap on rent increases and tie them to realistic costs of living adjustments.
  • Support more strict gun safety measures for all Oregon families.
  • Building greater access to safety net programs such as SNAP or food assistance for those traditionally excluded, such as immigrant families and students, regardless of their status.

Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education

The Oregon Education Association (OEA) is a union committed to the cause of providing the basic right of great public education to every student. OEA represents about 41,000 educators working in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools and community colleges. OEA’s membership includes licensed teachers and specialists, classified/education support professionals (ESPs), community college faculty, retired educators, and student members. OEA members also belong to the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA).