As a parent, I'm pleased relieved that Portland Public Schools won't get trashed in the new budget, as had been indicated earlier; this year's funding level has been anemic enough as it is, with most classes at my son's elementary school having 30+ students. It's hard to imagine what a $27.5 million further reduction would have done.
However, a good chunk of the money being used to save the schools from further pain is actually being, well, stolen from crime victims. As the Oregonian notes, $56 million comes from a tobacco lawsuit. That money is the state's portion of punitive damages, which by state law is supposed to go into the crime victim fund. Kids are important, but so too are crime victims, and the law directs that money to crime victims.
It's hard to feel good about this.