Saturday, June 26, 2010

Governor Kulongoski: Changes Needed in Education and Government Benefits

UPDATE: Here are links to the audio and text versions of Governor Kulongoski's City Club speech and to the Governor's Reset Cabinet final report.

From the Willamette Week:
"'We must end our practice of evaluating the success of our education system based solely on how much money it receives,' Kulongoski said. 'Rarely does the discussion turn to the number or students who succeed, much less how prepared they are to compete in this demanding economy.'

"In a direct challenge to the powerful Oregon Education Association that helped to elect him and other Democrats, Kulongoski said, 'the first step is to align funding with student outcomes…we must embrace charter schools…and…online learning and virtual classrooms.' Each of those points conflicts directly with the approach of the OEA, which is a huge player in funding the campaigns of Democratic candidates."
. . .
"'My message to state and school employees is this: If you don’t want a decade of deficits to turn into a decade of layoffs and wage freezes—work with us to manage the cost of your benefits and keep your pay in line with your counterparts in the private sector,' the governor said.

"Kulongoski proposed several ways in which to dial back compensation: getting employees to pay the 6 percent pension contribution many public sector entities pay on their behalf; engaging in statewide collective bargaining rather than the current fragmented process; and getting employees to pay more of their healthcare costs — or in some cases, any portion of that expense."
Looks like Governor Kulongoski learned some valuable on the job lessons. Too bad it's 7-1/2 years into his term. But, bravo for Kulongoski.

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