More Money is Not the Solution

By Joshua Schutte

The Oregonian recently reported that “Oregon students as a whole have failed to regain either math or reading skills” lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, unlike students in 29 other states included in an analysis published in January.

The article points out that, despite $1.6 billion in federal pandemic aid being spent in Oregon schools, Oregon students are experiencing three to four times the learning deficit of other states. Each school district spent the money differently, but whether it was to hire teachers, renovate buildings, or create programs, the outcome was the same.

Oregon students are struggling, and they need different choices in their education if they are going to catch up. Whether it is a voucher system, a tax credit, or an education savings account, school choice needs to be implemented so that we can expand learning options and meet the needs of our students.

Thirty-two states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have private school choice programs, and ten of those have universal school choice. Oregon education policies are well behind the curve, and so are their students. When it comes to educational success, money is not the problem, and in this case, more money is not the solution.

Joshua Schutte is the Development Coordinator at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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