Posts Tagged ‘Education’
SB 175 extends successful stimulus programs to train employees
SALEM –The Senate approved a bill this morning that will set up two workforce development programs modeled after successful programs funded with federal stimulus dollars. SB 175 would create the “Putting Oregon Back to Work Program” to improve Oregon’s workforce skills and the “Oregon Youth Employment Program” to provide teenagers with valuable job experience.
SB 800 streamlines and eliminates wasteful requirements for educators
SALEM –The Senate voted this morning to approve Senate Bill 800, legislation that will cut administrative costs and improve efficiency at the Department of Education by eliminating a series of mandates required of the state’s public education system.
“We call this bill ‘mandate relief’ because it eliminates cumbersome and unnecessary requirements,” said Senator Suzanne Bonamici (D-Washington Co./NW Portland), chief sponsor of the bill. “Finding ways to be more efficient is even more important this session. Senate Bill 800 is a straightforward example of how we are working to make sure tax dollars are directly benefiting Oregon children and their families.”
Annual Sessions Creates Opportunity for Adjustments in 2012
(SALEM) – With a unanimous vote today, Oregon Senators gave approval to a $5.7 billion budget for K-12 schools for the 2011-13 biennium.
The appropriation to the State School Fund provides essentially the same level of funding for the next two years as Oregon public schools will receive in the current biennium.
“What you are seeing is the effect of annual sessions. We know we will be back in February. We know that if the economy improves we can boost school funding in 2012,” said Senate President Peter Courtney. “For now, we can work with the revenue we have available and provide certainty and stability for local school boards that are making plans for the coming year.”
The $5.7 billion K-12 budget taps $100 million from the Education Stability Fund and draws additional money from the Common School Fund. It represents a $146 million increase over what was proposed in the Governor’s Recommended Budget.
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.”
SB 248 requires Oregon schools to offer program by 2015 school year
SALEM – The Oregon Senate approved legislation this morning that will require school districts to implement full-day kindergarten for Oregon’s kids by the 2015-1016 school year. Currently, Oregon schools receive state funding for half-day kindergarten programs. Some schools that offer full-day programs charge tuition to participate. SB 248 will require all schools to offer free full-day kindergarten.
“Now, more than ever, Oregon’s children need a quality education,” said Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem/Woodburn/Gervais). “We can’t start early enough giving our children the education they need to succeed in life.”
Advocates for full-day kindergarten cite the long term benefit to children and society. Studies conclude that full-day kindergarten reduces the number of students that need costly remediation, reduces delinquency, reduces the early onset of drug and alcohol abuse, lowers crime and incarceration rates, and as a result saves taxpayer dollars in the long term.
“As an educator for over 46 years, I know that the more time spent in the classroom early on in a child’s life can make a serious positive impact on their success later on,” said Sen. Rod Monroe (D-Portland), a former history and government teacher. “Full-day kindergarten should be the standard, not the exception. I’m very pleased to cast this vote today and only hope that we can continue to set high standards for learning in the first years of our children’s education.”
Currently, most Title-I schools that qualify for federal funding offer full-day kindergarten, as do most private schools and schools in areas where parents can afford to pay supplemental tuition. Schools in middle class neighborhoods suffer by comparison.
“Middle class families continue to suffer through an almost embarrassing half day of kindergarten, where a five or six year old barely has enough time to take off his coat before he has to put it back on and get ready to go home,” said Senator Mark Hass (D-Beaverton), who carried the bill on the floor. “It’s time the state made full-day kindergarten official state policy for all Oregon children.”