>Baker City Herald | Baker County Oregon's News Leader

Baker news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow BakerCityHerald.com

Baker City Herald print edition

view all Baker City Herald print publications »

The Baker City Herald is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow Opinion arrow Editorials arrow Legislature sees the light on ESDs


Legislature sees the light on ESDs

We’re gratified that the Oregon Legislature finally recognizes that Education Service Districts, agencies ostensibly created to help public school students, are actually exacerbating school officials’ struggles to balance their budgets.

It’s too bad it took a $3.5 billion shortfall to highlight the problem.

Three of Baker County’s four school districts have not only pleaded their case that ESDs are not necessary.

The districts have also proved their case beyond any doubt.

Three years ago the districts, along with North Powder in Union County, formed the “South Consortium.”

Their strategy, sanctioned by the state but not officially enshrined in state law, is to hire out special education, physical therapy and other services. Most everywhere else in the state, ESDs do that work for school districts. (Baker Schools actually opted out of the ESD mandate a decade before the Consortium was formed.)

The South Consortium has highlighted the inherent inefficiency of wedging an expensive layer of bureaucracy between the state and local school districts.

Membership in the South Consortium saves the Baker District about $200,000 per year.

That’s the sort of statistic sure to interest lawmakers in these trying financial times.

The result is Senate Bill 250.

It would allow other districts to mimic the South Consortium districts and procure special ed and other services on their own rather than mandating that they work with the local ESD.

Officials from Baker, Pine-Eagle and Burnt River districts testified in favor of Senate Bill 250 last week in Salem.

We hope their endorsement persuades the Legislature to pass the bill.

It seems likely that Gov. John Kitzhaber would sign it into law.

The governor, after all, has been criticized by some for submitting a budget proposal that in their estimation shortchanges schools.

A good answer for that criticism is to send more state money directly to schools.

It’s a system that’s worked out quite well around here for more than a dozen years.


blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Submit News
Editorials / Letters / Columns / Submit a letter
Outdoors / Go Magazine / Milestones / Living Well
Baker Herald
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Privacy Policy / Commenting Policy / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Videos / Local Business Links / Community Links / Weather and Road Cams / RSS Feed

Follow Baker City Herald headlines on Follow Baker City Herald headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2016 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use