OBA 2011 Legislative Agenda – Education

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Marrying Resources with Results

Ensuring a world-class education system for all Oregonians is critical to the state’s ability to compete in the global economy and maintain a high quality of life for all Oregonians. There is a need for a coordinated systematic approach to delivering a highly qualified workforce for Oregon businesses. In addition, investments are needed at every stage of the education continuum, from Pre-K to higher education.

K-12 Funding and Reform

OBA has worked jointly with the Superintendents, Stand for Children and Chalkboard Project on a bold agenda that identifies high leverage opportunities to create an educational system that prepares Oregon’s students for their next level of education and training to compete in a global economy.

Improve Statewide Governance & Maximize Teacher Quality

  • Make the state superintendent an appointed position, confirmed by the Senate.
  • Continue the current investment in quality core professional development and mentorship for teachers and administrators.
  • Implement a rigorous statewide performance evaluation system for every educator, allowing local districts to develop systems with multiple performance measures, including student growth as a factor. The evaluation must be proficiency-based and aligned with adopted state teaching standards.
  • Explore and develop new career pathways and new compensation models by investing in research-based initiatives like the CLASS Project by creating the School District Collaboration Grant Program.

Reform Education Service Districts

OBA supports efforts to increase efficiency of school administration by consolidating back-office services and reforming ESDs.

Invest in Early Childhood Education

OBA supports maintaining funding for Head Start and Early Head Start at 09-11 budget levels.

Restructure Higher Education

Oregon’s economy depends on a well-educated workforce. OBA has worked with the state’s three other major business associations—Associated Oregon Industries, the Oregon Business Council and the Portland Business Alliance—to develop a common message about improving Oregon’s university system.

  • The Joint Task Force supports the recommendations of the Chancellor and the OUS Board to discontinue the system’s status as a state agency to improve flexibility to meet statewide education goals as efficiently as possible.
  • OUS needs a financing mechanism that provides adequate, predictable and ongoing support for the institutions. Any governance change must be made within the context of the state’s comprehensive and long-term funding solution for all of education. We urge the state to maintain appropriate funding for the entire post-secondary system.
  • A centralized coordinating board is imperative to ensure that programs are delivered in a manner that ensures maximum benefit to all Oregonians and quality standards are achieved. The overall system must be designed and managed to achieve the best results for all Oregonians.
  • For universities positioned to have them, the question of local boards should be answered, including how and when they will be formed and what authorities they should have. Additional university-level local governance may strengthen the ability of some institutions to serve Oregon students; therefore, we believe this idea should be explored.
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