We recently uncovered further evidence of severely strained high school budgets:
United States high schools receive 10 percent of Title I funds, the federal money that supplements school budgets where poverty rates are high. Yet, 25 percent of K-12 students living in poverty attend public high schools.
It’s important that students start down a path to success early, which is why elementary schools receive a greater portion of Title I funds. In Oregon, we see the results. Our low-income eighth-graders perform well above average for their demographic on national tests. However, something causes students to slip through the cracks after leaving middle school.
In Oregon, 104 high schools with over half the student body living in poverty do not receive a dime of Title I funds. In funding our schools, we cannot neglect the importance of our high school students, particularly given Oregon’s outcomes. Roughly 7,000 Oregon high school students dropped out last year, not including those who obtained a GED certificate. Our high school graduation rate is the fourth worst in the country. Of those who do graduate and go on to enroll in community college, 75 percent pay for remedial classes on material they should have been taught in high school.
It’s time for the state of Oregon to step up and supplement the shortage of funding for successful high school programs. Our recommendations are outlined in a ballot initiative that will fund tools and strategies proven to raise graduation rates and improve college and career readiness. To receive timely updates and learn when you can get involved, pledge your support to the campaign (link to campaign page on Stand site).