Lawmakers, school advocates demand Measure 98 funding

Nature of measure means lawmakers can change it

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - As the Oregon Legislature considers sweeping cutbacks and tax hikes to close a $1.6 billion budget deficit, an education ballot initiative that voters overwhelmingly approved in November may be on the chopping block before it goes into effect.

A group of education advocates and bipartisan lawmakers are now demanding the Legislature carry out the will of Oregon voters and fully fund the $300 million per-biennium cost, as required by Measure 98.

The measure - designed to boost Oregon's low graduation rates by requiring statewide career-technical education, college credit courses and other dropout-prevention programs at a cost of $800 per high school student - won more than 65 percent of the vote last fall.

But because the measure amends state law, rather than the Oregon Constitution, it can be changed by the Legislature.

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