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Buehler, education miracle worker?

Knute Buehler, GOP nominee for governor, pledges to turn around Oregon's public education system in five years and make it top five in the nation.

OREGON CAPITAL INSIDER - Rep. Knute Buehler unveils his education platform Thursday at Davis Elementary School in Gresham.A Republican hasn't sat in the Oregon governor's office for more than three decades.

So, when Knute Buehler, GOP nominee for governor this year, unveiled an ambitious education platform Thursday, with a strict timeline for execution, it raised a question of whether he actually believes he'll win.

Speaking at Davis Elementary School in Gresham, Buehler promised as governor that he would bring Oregon's education system from one of the worst in the nation to one of the top five in five years. The plan involves lengthening the mandatory school days to 180 and funding career-technical education and other programs and scaling down benefits offered through the Public Employees Retirement System.

Given that Oregon's on-time graduation rate is third worst in the nation and unions are unlikely to give up PERS benefits without a fight, accomplishing his goal would be a feat.

The gubernatorial term is four years with potential for reelection to a second term.

Asked why he chose a five-year plan rather than a four-year plan, Buehler responded:

"With the successful show in solving some of these big issues, I'm confident there'll be a second term in the Buehler administration."

But will there ever be a first term?