Student Success Committee work groups release policy recommendations
Joint Interim Committee on Student Success Co-Chairs Rep. Barbara Smith Warner and Sen. Arnie Roblan have been holding public hearings since the beginning of the year to assess how best to improve Oregon schools. On Thursday, the committee’s work groups presented their policy recommendations. (Photo by Jake Arnold, OSBA)
Months of public hearings have led the Joint Interim Committee on Student Success to develop education policy recommendations that range from increased early childhood support and learning to dropout prevention and educator support.
The committee posted its work group policy recommendations Wednesday in advance of an informational hearing Thursday in the Capitol. The recommendations offer few specifics on increased funding amounts, but they envision expanses in programs, staff and support services. The recommendations do not say how to pay for it all. The committee will use the policy recommendations for a report expected in late December.
Gov. Kate Brown said last week that she would be looking to the Student Success Committee report to help shape where she will suggest making “significant investments” in public education.
The committee heard statewide support for increased education spending, and OSBA has been advocating for revenue reform and cost containment measures in the 2019 Legislature to support K-12 education.
The bipartisan committee divided into three work groups to consider inputs from teachers, school board members, administrators, education stakeholders and community and business leaders.
The Students Ready and Able to Learn group considered what students needed to start school right and be successful once there. Among its policy recommendations:
- Expand early childhood services and learning, including more state-subsidized preschool.
- Increase counselors, mental health professionals, nurses and other staff to help students.
- Establish need-based funding separate from the State School Fund for student support services.
- Expand food programs.
- Increase learning time.
- Support efforts to improve attendance.
The High Quality Classrooms group mostly focused on educator and classroom needs. Among its policy recommendations:
- $20.7 million in new funding for local teacher recruitment.
- Align collective bargaining agreements with the Legislature’s biennial budget cycle.
- More educator professional development support.
- Increase grant funding for capital improvements and seismic rehabilitation.
- Establish a statewide school safety system.
- Implement the policy goals of the Quality Education Model, including funding for reduced class sizes and more elementary school specialists and alternative programs.
- Implement a broad array of programs to help students with alternative needs.
The College and Career Ready group considered what it takes to prepare students for the next steps after high school. Among its policy recommendations:
- Fully fund Measure 98, which gives schools support for career and technical education programs, post-secondary opportunities and dropout prevention.
- Require schools to have dropout intervention strategies, attendance teams and family engagement plans.
- Create a student advisory group.
- Establish a statewide re-engagement plan for students who left school.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of statewide assessments.
- Jake Arnold, OSBA