A budget blueprint...and a need to act!

Current Events & News | 03/12/2019

Parasa Chanramy
Policy and Implementation Director

State budget writers released their preliminary framework this past week. Here are the major takeaways:

  • Roughly $8.8 billion for the State School Fund – which is $100 million short of the Governor’s recommended budget
  • Funds Measure 98 at $170 million – which is $130 million short of full funding

You can read our Executive Director, Toya Fick's, statement here

This budget framework is the beginning of a conversation, not the end. And there's nothing more urgently needed in this conversation than your voice. Make sure lawmakers know that you support full Measure 98 funding!

Email lawmakers with 1 click

For those of you living in Pendleton, Redmond, and the Portland area, there are exciting opportunities to add your voice in person at upcoming Ways and Means Committee Roadshow events:

March 15: Pendleton
Public Hearing (5:30-7:30 pm)
Blue Mountain Community College (Pioneer Hall, Bob Clapp Theatre)
2411 NW Carden Ave.

March 16: Redmond
Public Hearing (2-4pm)
Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center (Three Sisters Conference and Convention Center (South Sister)
3800 SW Airport Way

March 21: Portland
Public Hearing (5:30-7:30pm)
Portland Community College – Cascade (MAHB 104 Auditorium)
5514 N. Albina Ave.

Key updates from last week:

The Education Subcommittee on Ways and Means held public hearings on the state education budget. They heard from many educators, students and community partners. Among the testifiers, was the Dallas team. Dallas School District Superintendent Michelle Johnstone, Principal Steve Spencer, and CTE Program Coordinator Tim Ray spoke about how Measure 98 has had such a profound impact on their district:

  • Since the passage of Measure 98, Dallas School District has increased CTE participation by 370% -- doubling the number of programs;
  • They utilized Measure 98 investments to align programs with their local community college partners so that students can earn college credit. Dallas students are experiencing a 96% success rate in their college courses.
  • With Measure 98, Dallas provides supports (mentoring, AVID, and social-emotional learning support)to ensure that every 9th grader is on track. Their ninth grade on track rate went from the low 70s to near 85% this year.

Even though Measure 98 was half-funded, the Dallas team saw this as an important opportunity to invest dollars in way to, as Principal Spencer stated, “…impact every fiber of our school.”

The Senate Education Committee heard bills relating to dyslexia, special education and abbreviated school days. You can watch that hearing here.

On the other side of the chamber, the House Education Committee heard bills relating to the Early Learning Equity Fund, Latinx Student Success Plan and State School Fund calculations. That hearing is available here.

The subcommittees from the Joint Committee on Student Success (JCSS) wrapped up their meetings and started drafting their recommendations for the full committee. Here are links to work-in-progress recommendations and key considerations from each subcommittee:

What’s on the docket this week:

The full Joint Committee on Student Success is reconvening this evening and will have each subcommittee share out. Stay tuned for more details.House and Senate Education Committees will hear a variety of bills ranging from higher education and accelerated learning, inclusive education materials to social emotional learning, social workers and counselors, and assessments.

If you haven’t already, join our weekly Friday calls for an update on what’s happening during session.

Tune in by phone: 408-740-3766

Access code: 669 855 1592 #

and

Join the presentation/video: https://zoom.us/my/stand.spare

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