When Oregonians cast their votes for Measure 101, their decision will have a dramatic impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our state—our children. Measure 101 is about giving every child an equal chance to reach their full potential, regardless of their background or their family’s income.
If Oregonians vote no on this measure, up to 400,000 kids could lose health coverage. We know that strong physical, social, and emotional health are foundational elements for school readiness and success in life. Creating new barriers to success in the state with the third worst graduation rate is not good for children.
One of the most significant reasons students miss school is inadequate health care. If a child is sick or has unmet health needs, their ability to learn is compromised. Children who are chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to read proficiently by third grade. And children who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school. Tragically, vulnerable populations like kids of color and low-income children are disproportionately impacted by chronic absenteeism.
It is in this context that we, as education advocates committed to seeing every student succeed, urge you to vote YES on Measure 101. Use your vote to ensure every child in Oregon can continue to access the health care they need so they can focus on learning. In states where 100 percent of the kids have health care, the state can look forward to a 52 percent reduction in high school dropouts, a 10 percent increase in college attendance, and a 30 percent increase in students completing their bachelor’s degree.
Additionally, health care security yields tremendous educational gains, including increased high school and college graduation rates. So when you cast your vote on Measure 101 on or before January 23, please remember that the future leaders of our state are counting on you and that 400,000 kids are waiting to find out if they will still have health care when the dust settles. Measure 101 is an investment in their well-being, which in turn will pay in dividends to our communities and our state for many years.
Join our network of parents, educators, and community leaders who support us at Stand for Children and Children’s Institute in voting YES for Measure 101, so that every student in Oregon has a chance to reach their full potential.