For most Oregon kids, this has been back-to-school week, which also means major adjustments for parents and teachers.
School districts around the state are juggling fewer dollars and fewer staff members. At the same time, they're adopting new "Common Core Standards" for learning, and working to meet the "compacts" they've made with the Oregon Education Investment Board.
In Medford, high school English teacher Erin Beard calls it "the new normal."
"I notice my stress level, my other teachers' stress levels, way high -- because we agree with these great things that are happening, we're excited," Beard said. "But we don't have enough time to try to collaborate and really launch this well. We're doing the best we can! But we could always use more time."
Larger class sizes concern Collin Robinson of Bend, who has children in elementary and middle school. And as a youth soccer coach, he isn't convinced kids are getting enough exercise.
"Where I was brought up, there was always P.E.," he said. "It was every day, there was never a day off, we were outside for at least an hour. And now, the kids kind of switch between P.E. and music and art throughout the week, and may not get that full time outside to run around and really be physical."
In Woodburn, middle-school teacher Ben Cota says they feel lucky to still have music and art teachers on the staff. He predicts it'll be another year of squeezing kids into modular classrooms in his district.
"We are really in a serious crisis in terms of space, and partially because of things like last year, the high school burned, half of that burned, and that won't be fixed for another year," he said. "And the population is growing here, and we haven't been able to pass a school bond in probably 12 years."
In Hillsboro, Nina Carlson's son's school has a half-time principal and one less teacher this year. Carlson, an Oregon PTA vice president, says she's "frustrated with finger-pointing," and wants state lawmakers to work together and make education funding a bigger priority.
"I really am looking to our leaders in the Legislature to have some tough discussions, and both sides, to give and to come to an agreement of a long-term, viable plan," Carlson said. "It needs to start with them, because they're the ones who hold the keys to the purse, and we need them to really do their jobs this year."
Statewide, about 30,000 teachers work with more than 560,000 pupils in Oregon public schools.
Student/teacher statistics are from the Oregon Blue Book, bluebook.state.or.us.
Chris Thomas of Oregon News Service prepared this report.