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40-40-20 plan



40-40-20 Plan called an Aspirational Goal, like a wish list

From The Oregonian in 2012:

40 percent of the state’s adults with four-year college degrees, 40 percent with two-year degrees or the equivalent, and the remaining 20 percent with high school degrees.

It would be an impressive advance, since the four-year number is now closer to 30 percent and the two-year degree number way lower than that. The state is so proud of the goal that the last legislature made it law.

An Aspirational Law?

Maybe you’ve heard of the Suggested Speed Limit?

The maybe stop, maybe not, Stop Sign Rule?

Now the rest of the nation is fitting Oregon for the pointy hat, seeing it as the educational outpost it’s trying so hard to change.

Whether you carry a college degree or high school diploma, how hard is it to see Oregon’s educational ranking?

From takepart:

47. Oregon (One of the 5 Worst)

Oregon graduated 68 percent of students. The state had the fifth worst high school graduation rates in the country, and the lowest graduation rate among white students at only 70 percent.

Sort of a weird shot throwing the white student graduation rate in there?

Compared to Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, The Bureau of Indian Education, and The District of Columbia, Oregon looked pretty good in 2012.

How good? Not 40-40-20 plan good.

The 2011-12 school year marked the first time since record-keeping began in 1977 that the nation had less money than the year before to spend on public schools, according to the report by the Census Bureau, “Public Education Finances: 2012.”

But Oregon’s situation was bleaker. Unadjusted spending per student fell from $9,800 in 2008-09 to less than $9,500 in 2011-12 even as inflation rose. That left Oregon spending 11 percent less per student than the national average, the biggest gap by which it has ever trailed U.S. spending on schools.

That’s no way to achieve the 40-40-20 plan.


No one comes to Oregon to attend poorly funded low ranking schools, but they still come.

What do they bring with them? Hopes, dreams, the works. No one hopes to find the education system in rags, or dream of seeing students fail.

From Forbes:

Some of the states with the largest proportions of inbound moves were Oregon, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota and Vermont.  

They might want to do a little state homework ahead of the move.

From wiki:

Ballot Measure 5 was a landmark piece of direct legislation in the U.S. state of Oregon in 1990. Measure 5, an amendment to the Oregon Constitution (Article XI, Section 11), established limits on Oregon’s property taxes on real estate.

Property taxes dedicated for school funding were capped at $15 per $1,000 of real market value per year and gradually lowered to $5 per $1,000 per year. Property taxes for other purposes were capped at $10 per $1,000 per year. Thus, the total property tax rate would be 1.5% at the end of the five-year phase in period. The measure transferred the responsibility for school funding from local government to the state, to equalize funding.

The measure was passed in the November 6, 1990 general election with 574,833 votes in favor, 522,022 votes against. It was one of the most contentious measures in Oregon election history.

This is continuing history. Let the learning begin.


Come to Oregon for the outdoors if you’re an outdoorsman or woman, but remember the kids. If you don’t have kids, you might eventually, then public education gets more important.

Come to Oregon for the weather if you love the mix of rain, sun, sleet, hail, snow, all on the same day. Ask your native Oregonian neighbor if it’s normal, but don’t expect a sensible answer if the went to school here and give some unreasonable explanation.

Just know this is the best you’ll get unless you know people from out of state.

Low ranking in educational outcomes and low spending on educational opportunity don’t bode well for a state attracting new residence.

They’ll want the sort of changes that lift Oregon, not the kind that sink into a stereotype of 420 ‘it’s-all-good-until-it-isn’t’ laid back attitude.

This isn’t California, but don’t tell renters moving up about saving that money.

If Oregon gets smarter about education goals, instead of an aspirational goal like the 40-40-20 plan, we’ll get smarter neighbors.

About David Gillaspie
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