Skyrocketing expenses for employees' pensions and health care are threatening the viability of our public education system statewide. Pension and health care costs are the two biggest drivers of today's expense increases.
Oregonians need to reach consensus on real plans that are viable and innovative. We can't just tax our way out of this. We must also address costs.
My fellow board members and I, along with administrators, have succeeded in trimming the growth in Molalla's pension costs. Our pension rates are among the lowest in the state. Those rates are rising, however, and will become unmanageable if a statewide solution isn't found.
I will lobby fellow board members, legislators and the Oregon School Boards Association to reach consensus on alternative solutions that are real rather than wishful. We have been left to undo the mistakes of prior leaders across this state, but I will fight hard to ensure that we are successful in that task.