The MSD and Stand for Children are hosting an interactive budget strategy session. Participants will have a chance to weigh in on investments to boost graduation rate and student achievement, and how we can shrink what is currently an unsustainable deficit of over $3mm per year. Sit with members of the Budget Committee at your table and cast your vote for programs that you think will make a difference in our district, and where you think savings should be made. Learn about advocacy opportunities for increasing K-12 funding during this Legislative session.
Wednesday, February 27
6:30 to 8:00 pm
Jackson County Budget Town Hall draws overwhelming crowd of concerned stakeholders
On Tuesday, December 4, state leaders spoke with over 100 Jackson County educators and parents on how to address yet another biennium of school funding challenges.
A panel of Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Rob Saxton, State Representatives Peter Buckley and Dennis Richardson, and State Senator Alan Bates, assessed the potential impact of the Governor’s Budget on Rogue Valley schools.
The panel, as well as local educators in attendance, laid out options for protecting the allocation to schools. These included reform to the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS), as well as changes to the senior medical deduction and personal kicker.
For more details on the town hall, read the Mail Tribune recap here.
The conversation was a first step in overcoming, and not simply absorbing another biennium of looming cuts. Politics aside—our kids and our communities cannot afford to see bulging classrooms and shrinking school years any longer.
English Language Learner Initiatives
Stand has been involved in the English Language Learner program, which serves about 900 children district-wide. The District has published its ELL Program Improvement Plan on its website, detailing weaknesses in the program as currently structured and a pathway to improvement, focusing more on in-class language support as opposed to the traditional pull out method. While in-class supports are more effective than pull outs, Stand's ELL Taskforce found bi-lingual instruction to be the instructional best practice. View the complete report here. Local leaders are also concerned about potential disparities in student discipline between ethnic and gender groups in some Medford schools and will continue to research and address this issue.
Recess Coaching Pilot Program
Stand is working with the Medford YMCA, Southern Oregon University, School Board Vice-Chair Jeff Thomas, and the District on the Recess Coaching Pilot. We want to get our kids moving! This project, which will begin at two elementary schools this year and expand to all elementary schools in three years, includes a 20-minute PE session held daily during lunch recess and overseen by volunteers. The two pilot schools, Lone Pine and Wilson, are excited about the new program, and baseline testing has been completed at both schools. The principals and staff of these schools are very grateful, and the students are having fun participating in this innovative new program. We invite all Stand members who wish to be involved in this innovative program to contact Karen Starchvick, Jackson County Stand Chapter Chair.
Medford School Board embraces Stand’s 2011 Priorities
Our election effort in May made a huge difference. Paulie Brading, a long-time Stand member, is now the Chair of the School Board. We developed our priorities for the year and the Board listened. The Medford School Board's goals closely align with our own priorities. Both prioritize extending student learning beyond proficiency, increasing district communication with parents and the community, increasing the graduation rate and eliminating the achievement gaps for English Language Learners and Special Education students. The Superintendent will be evaluated by the Board based upon the District's improvement in these areas.
We made news in 2011!
Check out the latest news about Stand in the Medford Mail-Tribune as our parents lobbied for more staff and decreased class sizes.
The Medford Chapter has taken a leadership role in:
1. Electing strong, independent school board members. Stand was the only organization in Medford to interview all of the candidates for the Medford School Board. Three of the four candidates we endorsed were elected. Congratulations to new board members, Ron Andersen and Kim Wallan, and returning members, Sally Killen and Marlene Yesquen.
2. Supporting statewide legislation to make sure Oregon has a statewide system of vibrant, high-performing schools that are great places to teach and learn, with stable funding and strong leadership. See last year’s legislative agenda.
3. Advocating for nutrition, physical education and music curriculum
- Stand members succeeded in getting the District to allow supplemental nutrition curriculum, including student workbooks and teacher guides, in all 14 elementary schools.
- Chapter members led the 2010 campaign to successfully protect the elementary music program.
- Chapter members are currently working on a proposal to enhance physical education in the Medford Schools.
4. Supporting a more transparent District budget process. Chapter Chair Karen Starchvick is now an appointed member to the District’s Budget Committee. Stand members continue to urge great budget transparency and community input in the District’s budget process.
• Read a 2010 Mail Tribune editorial: Making sense of where school dollars go
• Read a March 2011 op-ed from Karen Starchvick and fellow Budget Committee member Maggie Eklund: School budget process disappoints - again
• Read the Mail Tribune's March 2011 editorial: Balancing in the dark
• Read the Medford Chapter’s letter to the District detailing our 2011-2012 budget priorities.
Past successes include:
- Securing $189 million for local schools by passing Bond Measure 15-73 (November 2006)
- Lobbied the School Board (2007) to use $2.5 million to reduce class sizes
- Safe Routes to School Task Force (2007) improved Jacksonville Elementary School walking routes
About Medford Stand for Children
Stand for Children members have been active in Jackson County since early 2000. We have an active chapter in the Medford School District made up of parents, grandparents, teachers, principals, school board and community members from the Medford - 549C schools.