Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt has been a national radio producer focusing on education for American Public Media since 2017. She has reported from the Arctic to the Antarctic for national and international media, and from Minnesota and Oregon for The Washington Post.

Welcome at airport for Afghan family

Legislators on Monday will decide millions to help Afghans resettle in Oregon

By: - December 13, 2021

Legislators on Monday will consider appropriating $18 million to aid Afghan refugee resettlement in Oregon with housing, legal services, language and job training programs. The enhanced program would help up to 1,200 Afghan refugees expected to be resettled in Oregon in the next year.  State Sen. Kayse Jama, D-Portland, and Rep. Khanh Pham, D-Portland, convened […]

Empty classroom with desks

Disability rights group accuses school district, state of denying students rights

By: - December 10, 2021

The advocacy group Disability Rights Oregon is alleging that the Klamath Falls City School District and the Oregon Education Department are violating laws that guarantee equal education for students with disabilities.  The group’s attorney, Joel Greenberg, filed a complaint Tuesday, Dec. 7 at the state agency that names Education Department Director Colt Gill and Keith […]

Farmland in Oregon

DEQ staff drops carbon sequestration plan recommended by state advisory groups

By: - December 9, 2021

Advisers to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality say a new climate change program ignored their recommendations and those of the state’s Global Warming Commission, missing an opportunity to invest in forests and agricultural land to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Protection Program is a set of regulations that charge heavy polluters in the […]

State work group targets stress and attrition among Oregon school employees

By: - December 7, 2021

In a meeting with Portland teachers last month, state Senator Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, “really got an earful” about how bad staff shortages had gotten. A lack of substitute teachers, special education teachers and paraprofessionals as well as classified workers such as bus drivers and janitors had many school employees taking on extra work and being […]

Ben Cannon

Investments needed in higher ed, job training to recover from pandemic, Oregon leaders say

By: - December 6, 2021

Oregon can’t recover jobs lost during the pandemic and meet the needs of industry without new investments in training the workforce, state leaders declared Monday. Gov. Kate Brown and Ben Cannon, executive director of the state Higher Education Coordinating Commission, underscored that point in speeches to an annual gathering of business leaders and public officials. […]

Oregonians can bid for lower taxes while funding scholarships through state auction

By: - December 4, 2021

An upcoming auction for tax credits could save winners anywhere from $50 to $1.12 million on state taxes, all while funding Oregon’s largest needs-based scholarship program.   The online auction is in its fourth year, and offers bidders the opportunity to shave their tax bill and direct a portion of what they would pay in taxes […]

Empty classroom with desks

Education Department wants public help mapping the future of special education

By: - December 2, 2021

The Oregon Education Department is writing a six-year plan to improve school results for students with disabilities, and it wants the public’s help. Agency officials want to know how well public schools are preparing students with disabilities for life after high school, whether students with disabilities are being included in the same spaces as their […]

After more than three decades, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio is done with Congress

By: , and - December 1, 2021

Peter DeFazio was waiting for three things to happen before he ended his decades-long congressional career. First, Donald Trump needed to be out of the White House. Second, Oregon needed its long-awaited sixth congressional district. And finally, Democrats needed to control Congress. He finally checked those three boxes this year, and now he’s ready to […]

DeFazio’s retirement decision triggers political watch for candidates; 2 declare to run

By: , and - December 1, 2021

Just hours after U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio announced his intention to retire from Congress at the end of his term in 2022, a state official revealed she hoped to replace him.  But Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle, a Democrat, won’t be alone in seeking to represent Oregon’s 4th Congressional District. Democratic watchers said state Sens. Sara […]

Despite closing decades-long funding gaps, Oregon schools say they need more money

By: - December 1, 2021

State school and education leaders said Tuesday that despite new data showing that decades of school funding gaps in the state have been nearly closed, many districts are still underfunded.  They were reacting to a new report that found the 2021 legislative budget for schools “represents a significant narrowing of the insufficiency reported in past […]

A person drinks water from a drinking fountain in Malheur

A year after state, tribes receive funds to test for lead in drinking water at schools, childcare facilities

By: - November 29, 2021

Tribal-run child care facilities and schools in Oregon will be tested for lead in the drinking water under a grant announced by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board will receive $445,000 to test water in at least 90 facilities in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Testing will begin next spring […]

Empty classroom

Amid staff shortages, Oregon students with disabilities get short shrift

By: - November 29, 2021

In a recent Senate Education Committee meeting dominated by conversations around school staff shortages, state Sen. Sara Gelser Blouin, D-Corvallis, said the loss of special education teachers was violating students’ civil rights. She brought up the Lane Education Service District, supporting 16 school districts including Eugene, where Life Skills classes that typically were conducted five […]