Oregon’s disconnected system of education funding and policy-making treats early learning, K-12, and post-secondary education as separate silos rather than a continuous pathway that leads all Oregon students to a successful future. The result is a competition for resources, and a lack of coordinated policy making. Decisions are often made based on who controls the dollars—and not necessarily what’s right for students. Oregonmust do away with these arbitrary boundaries in order to improve our focus on student achievement, from birth up through successful entry into the workforce.
Senate Bill 909 creates the Oregon Education Investment Board, and charges this Board with ensuring that early childhood services, grade K through 12 public education, and post-secondary education are streamlined and connected. The Oregon Investment Board will recommend strategies to ensure our state’s investments are focused on helping students reach important outcomes, like coming to school ready to learn, and graduating from high school career and college-ready. In addition, SB 909 creates an Early Learning Council to coordinate Oregon’s numerous and disparate early learning programs and ensure they achieve the desired outcomes.
This common sense proposal by Governor John Kitzhaber is a significant step to remove bureaucracy and focus resources on student achievement, which will help put all Oregon students on a pathway to success.
The bill is sitting in the Education Subcommittee of Ways and Means. No work session has been scheduled on the bill.