Senate approves bills to require teaching of Oregon studies in middle school; boost educational opportunities for veterans
SB 602 will foster civic pride, greater knowledge of state history; SB 275 would standardize how veterans get community college credit for service education and training
SALEM – Today the Oregon Senate passed legislation requiring the teaching of Oregon studies in middle school classrooms across the state and a bill to help veterans get community college credit for education and training they received while in the military.
Senate Bill 602 will allow Oregon’s middle school students to learn about the rich history of our state while helping foster a greater sense of civic pride and engagement.
“Oregon has a unique history, and emphasizing Oregon studies will help students better understand where we come from while promoting civic pride toward our state,” said Senator Joanne Verger (D-Coos Bay), sponsor of SB 602. “This bill gives Oregon studies the important place in the school curriculum it deserves.”
Oregon history is taught starting in the 4th grade but not for a set length of time. SB 602 would expand and standardize the teaching of “Oregon studies,” requiring two semesters to be taught in either the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade on Oregon’s history, economics, civics, and geography.
“The importance of history cannot be overstated. If you know history, you know life,” said Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem/Gervais/Woodburn) “To know where you are going, you need to know where you have been.”
Senate Bill 275 requires that community college boards develop a process to standardize how Oregon’s community colleges give credit for education and training obtained by veterans while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
“Our dedicated men and women veterans have served their country with pride and have learned many valuable skills in the process. Helping them complete their education is just a small thing we can do to show our gratitude,” said Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham), vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ and Military Affairs.
SB 275 is a product of the Legislative Task Force on Veterans’ Reintegration. The Task Force found that while the Oregon University System has a uniform standard for giving credit for military education, the state’s community colleges do not.
The bills now go to the House for consideration.
For more information on the Senate Majority Caucus, please visit orsenatemajority.org