Measure 98, which aims to raise the state's graduation rate by devoting funds to career and technical education classes, appears to have sailed to victory.
Shortly after the polls closed at 8 pm, early results show 65 percent of voters supporting it, with 34 percent voting against.
The measure will distribute $150 million a year in general fund dollars to high schools that apply to add or expand CTE programs. That works out to $800 per public high school student.
Stand for Children, the K-12 education advocacy group, successfully backed the measure with nearly $3.5 million in donations from its own funds—making the nonprofit one of the largest single donors in Oregon elections this year. But that's dark money: the donors haven't been disclosed.
The Oregon Education Association opposed the measure, but focused its significant resources on Measure 97.
The measure will only be funded after the state budget grows by more than $1.5 billion, but as other costs rise, it could put the squeeze on school districts that won't be able to rely on the windfall from Measure 97.
Among the other statewide measures shortly after 8 pm:
- Measure 94, which would removed mandatory retirement age for judges, has 37 percent in favor and 62 percent opposed.
- Measure 95, which would clarify a provision of a state constitution to allow public universities can invest in stocks, has 70 percent in favor and 29 percent opposed.
- Measure 96, which would devote 1.5 percent lottery proceeds (or roughly $9 million a year) to fund for veterans services, has 83 percent in favor and 16 percent opposed.
- Measure 99 would dedicate $22 million a year in lottery money—about 4 percent of the $550 million the lottery contributes to the state budget annually—to a fund that school districts could tap to pay for a whole week of Outdoor School. The vote stand at 65 percent in favor and 34 percent opposed.
- Measure 100 would create state fines for anyone who gets caught selling the parts of 12 species, including sea turtles, cheetahs and the spiny anteater. The vote stand at 70 percent in favor and 29 percent opposed.