10 moments worth remembering

Who We Are | 05/16/2016

Toya Fick
Executive Director

As executive director, Toya guides the strategy and policy work at Stand for Children Oregon.

This month, Stand for Children affiliates across the country are celebrating 20 years of Stand! As the oldest state affiliate, Stand for Children Oregon has a rich history of winning moments for Oregon kids. Here's a look back at a few of our favorite organizational memories: 

  1. 1999 – In Stand's first win, our Salem-Keizer chapter secured $800,000 of needed funding to reinstate three children's therapists slated for lay-off. 
  2. 2002 – Stand Oregon played a central role to help pass the monumental Portland Children's Initiative, a property tax levy which provided around $10 million in funding per year over five years for proven early childhood, after-school and child abuse prevention programs. The levy is still around today.
  3. 2005 – In Stand Oregon's first statewide win, members fought hard to maintain class sizes, protect instructional days, and educational offerings for Oregon's K-12 classrooms through our instrumental role in raising the state's K-12 budget by $95 million for 2005-07. Stand members were credited for this funding increase by Senator Kurt Schrader, the Senate's lead budget writer.  
  4. 2007 – Stand Oregon designed and won legislative approval and $5 million in funding for the Oregon New Educator Mentor Program, which provided mentors for nearly 1,000 new K-12 teachers and principals in 2008-2009. 
  5. 2009 – We counted and signed in close to 4,500 attendees at our largest Oregon rally to advocate that lawmakers raise taxes and spend from the state savings account rather than close schools early.
  6. 2009 – For the first time, we ran four Stand members' school board election campaigns: Jennifer Gellar (Eugene 4-J), Janeen Sollman (Hillsboro), Valerie Tewksbury (Reynolds), and Chris Brantley (Salem).  Janeen was the underdog for her seat but edged out a win by only 58 votes.  Stand made 1,000 voter contacts for her by phone and door-or-door, and sent out three lit pieces. Today, Jennifer, Chris and Janeen still sit on their school boards and have proven their commitment to all kids. Janeen just began her run for state house representative.
  7. 2010 – In February, we brought more than 200 Oregonians to the capitol to meet with their legislators and raise blue umbrellas in support of a rainy day fund.  A week later, 300 members marched with blue umbrellas across the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland.  Umbrella rallies on the coast and in Eugene drew 90 and 150 members, respectively. While change didn't come immediately, these rallies show strong support for a rainy day fund, and helped pave the way for corporate kicker reform in 2012.
  8. 2011 – Stand Oregon pushed a bold and effective legislative agenda. We helped passed legislation that provided an incentive for all school districts to offer full-day kindergarten starting in 2015. We also worked closely with Sen. Suzanne Bonamici and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to craft legislation to ensure that the statewide standardized test is being used properly and schools maximize student learning time. During the 2009-2010 school year, 80,000 Oregon students who met the benchmark on the test were retested. Over 25,000 students who exceeded state benchmarks were retested. The law ensured that, moving forward, students who are proficient on their first attempt do not have to retake the test.
  9. 2014 – 36 Spanish-speaking parents graduated from Oregon’s first class of Stand University for Parents, or Stand UP. The eight-week course provides parents with actionable steps to get involved in their children’s academics and put them on a path to college.
  10. 2015  – HB 3499, bold reform to Oregon's English language development (ELD) programs, passed unanimously in both chambers of the legislature thanks to the collaboration of Stand parent leaders and other advocates. This new law increases the visibility of ELD spending and provides extra support to districts struggling to produce successful outcomes. It will allow the Oregon Department of Education to take over control of the .5 extra funding weight for English learner students in districts that are consistently underperforming for their these students.


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