Students make impressive pitches for more education funding
Friday, February 22, 2019
Teachers and students, out of school for Presidents Day, formed a large school funding rally in the morning on the Capitol steps. They marched around the Capitol building on the streets of Salem, a sea of red. “Wear red for ed” is a way to signify support for schools and the need for a significant investment in education.
I was impressed with a group of students from the Klamath Falls area who came to Salem to testify on a small schools funding bill, House Bill 2867. The high school students rode to Salem on a school bus accompanied by administrators, school board members and parents. Some of the students had not met each other before the bus ride.
The students put together a precise presentation, where all had the opportunity to sit before the House Education Committee and speak about the needs of small rural high schools and the need for additional funding. The presentation was well received by the committee, and the bill is expected to be voted out of the committee Monday, Feb. 25. Well done, and thanks to the school board members for coming to Salem.
Workplace harassment and sexual conduct continue to be front and center in the Capitol. House Speaker Tina Kotek took the unprecedented step of removing Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, from his longtime role as chair of the House Health Care Committee for unprofessional behavior toward two lobbyists during a hearing.
With the Legislature’s issues as a backdrop, bills are moving that deal with the safety of students in schools related to sexual conduct of school district staff. Senate Bill 155 would require the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission to conduct investigations of suspected abuse or sexual misconduct, and SB 415 would add school board members to the long list of mandatory reporters of child abuse.
Sen. Lee Beyer, D-Springfield, and Rep. John Lively, D-Springfield, are the chief sponsors of SB 415, a response to allegations of misconduct within a charter school in their districts. News stories last year raised questions of whether the school board should have done more to protect the student.
Please continue to check in on the Oregonians for Student Success website for upcoming town hall and Lobby Day options. If you text "SCHOOLS" to 40649, you can get updates on the revenue reform campaign. Stay tuned and get updates as the campaign moves into its next phase.
As usual, if you have questions please feel free to contact me.