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OSBA welcomes special session on PERS reform, revenue

Gov. Kitzhaber's calling of a special session on reform of the Public Employees Retirement System holds promise for students across the state, said Betsy Miller-Jones, OSBA's executive director.

Miller-Jones said the proposed PERS reforms, coupled with a revenue package, will create opportunities for districts to rehire teachers and restore lost school days. If the package is approved at a Sept. 30 special session, the state's unfunded pension liability would be reduced by billions of dollars.

"Across the state, school board members have consistently told us that PERS relief is pivotal in turning around the funding outlook for Oregon schools," she said. "This is our chance to build on the school funding momentum the Legislature created this session."

Miller-Jones credited Kitzhaber and legislative leaders of both parties for persevering in their search for a compromise.

"Sept. 30 now stands as a turning point for the future of our public schools," she said. "It's an opportunity to make a lasting change for our children and our state."