PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Governor Kate Brown helped welcome students back to school as she signed the Student Success Act in front of the freshman class at Jefferson High School.

Adding $1 billion to classrooms every year, Brown said this legislation has been decades in the making.

“The fact that we were able to get this done, it rocks,” said Brown. “I’m so excited and I think the students can feel that excitement — and I know they know it’s important.

Lawmakers voted in May to raise new tax dollars to boost the amount of money flowing toward Oregon’s public schools every year. It’s a major effort to increase academic achievement, improve students’ mental health, boost high school graduation rates and improve Oregon kids’ long-term prospects.

Gov. Brown also visited Albina Head Start on Wednesday.

“Giving our children the opportunity to thrive is at the core of the Student Success Act,” said Governor Brown. “I want to make sure that every single student is empowered and able to overcome any challenge, and dream big for themselves and their community. These targeted investments will ensure that all our kids can graduate high school with a plan for their future.”