SALEM - Oregon House Republicans called for action by the state Legislature to prevent further cuts in education this year and beyond. Several Republican leaders Monday issued statements in support of drawing from the state's Education Stability Fund as a way to offset worsening revenue forecasts.

"The 2007 Legislature made a promise on education funding that it couldn't keep," said House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg. "Now, we must work closely with our partners on the school boards and be willing to use the Education Stability Fund in exchange for savings being secured at the local level."

Oregon's budget crisis has already affected school districts across the state, forcing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cuts last November. Eastern Oregon districts have begun bracing for possible further cuts. The Umatilla School District last week announced a series of reductions that take effect next school year.

The Republican leaders' joint statement urged legislators to pass a 2009-11 education budget by the 81st day of the session, giving districts a clearer funding picture before they put together next year's budgets. A recently introduced resolution also would require the Legislature in future sessions to approve education funding earlier.

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