Key education bills advance in Legislature

Press Release

By:  John Kitzhaber
Date: April 18, 2013
Location: Salem, OR

The Governor today released the following statement as key education improvement legislation began to move through legislative committees in both the House and Senate. The seven bills cover early learning accountability, strategic K-12 investments and post-secondary improvements, all critical to meeting the state's ambitious 40-40-20 goal.

"We're making real and significant progress on stabilizing school funding this session, but the revitalization and restoration of public education in Oregon isn't just about a K-12 budget number, it is also about making smart strategic investments from early learning through college and career. This package of education bills improves coordination and gives us the greatest leverage for improvement, including kindergarten readiness, third grade reading proficiency, high school completion, STEM, workforce readiness and teacher effectiveness."

Governor Kitzhaber's Legislative Education Package:

House Bill 3232
Makes targeted strategic investments to:
* Improve early literacy and ensure students are reading by the third grade.
* Create pathways to college and career for Oregon's underserved students.
* Prepare students for the 21st century economy with investments in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

House Bill 3233
Improves support for quality teaching and learning with increased:
* Mentoring for new teachers and administrators.
* Recruitment and preparation for new teachers and administrators.
* Assistance with curriculum development.
* Professional development and training for early learning and primary grade educators.

House Bill 2013
Empowers local communities to respond to early childhood needs and helps ensure children are ready to learn by the time they reach kindergarten by:
* Identifying children in local communities with the greatest need.
* Linking families with services to address specific needs.
* Better coordinating existing programs for kindergarten readiness.
* Creating greater accountability for outcomes.

House Bill 3234
Aligns early learning programs from multiple agencies and commissions by establishing the Early Learning Division within the Department of Education.

House Bill 3120
Streamlines and improves higher education governance to strengthen P-20 coordination and clarify responsibilities with the state in order to ensure accountability for 40-40-20.

Senate Bill 270
Creates the option for institutional boards for Oregon Universities to increase flexibility, autonomy and private investment.