Thursday, October 23, 2014

Two Views on Measure 86: Yes: Make education an achievable goal

Portland Tribune
October 23rd, 2014

It’s no secret that many working families in Oregon are falling behind. We know that for many Oregonians, the key to getting ahead financially is a college degree or skills acquired through vocational and technical training; yet for many, this goal is simply out of reach.
That’s why SEIU Local 503 urges a “yes” vote on Ballot Measure 86.
Measure 86 has three goals: One, make higher education and job training more affordable; two, reduce student debt; and three, encourage the expansion of vocational and technical job training in Oregon.
When it comes to funding higher education, Oregon ranks 47th in the nation. Colleges have responded to dwindling state support by shifting the burden to students and their families. The high cost of tuition means many Oregonians simply cannot afford college.
To make matters worse, access to student aid is scarce. The Oregon Opportunity Grant program is an effective tool for those students who secure a grant, but onl y one out of every five eligible applicants for Oregon Opportunity Grants receives anything at all.

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