Coast Radio Daily News

Budget Wains; Back to School; Pump Price Dips; New Signage

Budget Leaves Schools Wanting

The Oregon House passed an education budget of eight-point-two billion dollars for the next two years on Tuesday, but educators say they’re being shorted once again. Even legislators warned the funding amount will mean cuts for some school districts, fewer teachers and larger class sizes. Oregon educators who have been in the field for many years say they’ve witnessed the diminishing returns of the state’s education budget. Ericka Keefauver – an instructional coach for the Hermiston School District, former teacher and mother of five – assesses what she’s seen in her hometown.

“Right now, I’m seeing teachers left and right leaving the profession of teaching, because they don’t feel like they’re capable of doing the job, because they’re not given the tools and the resources and the capacity to do that.”

State lawmakers are also dealing with a budget gap of about one-point-six billion dollars. The education budget now heads to Governor Kate Brown’s desk, and she is likely to sign it. Brown called for an education budget of eight-billion dollars this session.  Keefauver says continued under-funding could drive a younger generation of Oregonians away from the state.

“I feel like we’re doing a disservice to our own citizens, our own future voters, by not allowing them to have the education that they deserve.”

If the budget is signed into law this could mean that cuts for Siuslaw schools will be forthcoming.

School Registration Dates Announced

You might say it’s a little early to be thinking about school, but summertime is vacation time and it might be a good idea to be prepared.  The Siuslaw School district has released its 2017/2018 schedule.  Elementary School registration will be August 15th through the 17th, from 9am to 3pm.  Middle School is the 16th through the 18th and the 22nd through the 25th, both dates are 9am to 3pm daily.  High school is the 16th and 17th, from 8:30am to 3:30pm and include photos and locker assignments.  The first day of school is September 5th and Kindergarten begins September 11th.  You can get a complete list of your child’s supplies at Siuslaw.k12.or.us.

Gas Dips Lower, Again

Despite a surge in gasoline demand for the second half of June, retail gas prices continue to move lower. For the week, the national average for regular unleaded drops three cents to $2.25 a gallon, while Oregon’s average slips two cents to $2.66.   Here in Florence the price of a gallon of regular gas is averaging $2.34 a gallon.  Record refinery rates as well as high gasoline and crude inventory are putting downward pressure on pump prices. Still, AAA says prices could inch up a few cents over the long holiday weekend, especially in areas popular with tourists. Falling gas prices are good news for people traveling for the Independence Day weekend. AAA projects 44.2 million Americans will travel for the holiday, up 2.9 percent over last year. This is the highest travel volume ever for the holiday. In Oregon, roughly 520,000 people are expected to take a 4th of July getaway. The majority are traveling by car.

New Sign for Airport

Deeds of Valor in partnership with the Florence VFW is erecting a sign at the Florence Airport.  The General Ben King Veterans Memorial Gateway is scheduled to be completed in time for this Saturday’s Wings and Wheels event.  Deeds of Valor President Sam  Spayd says the sign will not only serve to honor all Veterans and past resident General Ben King, but will also enhance the economic attractiveness of the airport and business park.  General Ben King and his wife retired in Florence.  King served in WWII, Korea, and the Vietnam conflict.  He passed away in 2004 after a battle with cancer.