Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate is a journalist and author based in Salem, Oregon. She covered education for the Statesman Journal for more than seven years and was the co-founder and lead of the Salem Storytellers Project. She was an Investigative Reporters and Editors Fellow in 2021 and remains an IRE mentor and member of the Education Writers Association. She was named a 2022 EWA Reporting Fellow and published an in-depth series that summer on prison literacy programs. She is a graduate of Willamette University, where she majored in politics and French. Find her on Twitter @NataliePateGwin.

Prisoners at Coffee Creek earn GEDs.

Oregon expands education programs for incarcerated adults, but gaps remain

By: - July 13, 2023

WILSONVILLE – In many ways, it was like any other graduation ceremony.  Several dozen graduates strode into a large room wearing robes and tasseled caps. “Pomp and Circumstance” played from a speaker. Dozens of friends, family members and teachers sat in the audience, clapping and cheering and flipping through the program to see an outline […]

Educator with high school students

Districts are juggling options as state budget delayed

By: - June 13, 2023

Oregon school districts are preparing their annual budgets this spring. They have to adopt them by the end of June.  But until a schools budget is passed, districts won’t know how much money they’ll have. Districts need more money than ever to address rising student needs. Some are already cutting positions to prepare for less […]

A provider reads to children.

Child care advocates say Oregon’s proposed budget isn’t enough to move the needle

By: - June 6, 2023

Legislators are considering a proposal that would allocate about $1.3 billion to Oregon’s new Department of Early Learning and Care to tackle child care needs across the state, but advocates say an additional $70 million is needed. House Bill 5013 outlines the state’s plans for agency operations and statewide programs in the next two years. […]

toddlers playing child care

Public funding is key in increasing child care openings statewide

By: - May 22, 2023

Child care is becoming more readily available for families across Oregon. But state workers and lawmakers are still fighting for long-term improvements. A new report from Oregon State University found that available child care slots for young children in Oregon grew by almost 5% from March 2020 to December 2022, thanks in part to increased […]

Marion County election workers

May 2023 Election: Initial returns show changes coming to school, library boards across Oregon

By: - May 17, 2023

UPDATED: Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 9:23 a.m. to reflect the latest returns. The ballots of a quarter of Oregon voters who participated in the special election will lead to substantial changes for school and library boards across the state.  These results will have substantial impacts on Oregonian’s daily lives. School board members govern the […]

A teacher works with a student

Legislative proposal could help hold teachers, school nurses more accountable for abuse

By: - May 15, 2023

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow the state’s educator licensing agency to better hold teachers and school nurses accountable for violating professional ethics or committing crimes. Senate Bill 218 – which passed through the Oregon Senate last month on a 25-4 vote and is scheduled for a House vote on Monday – addresses […]

students graduating

May 2023 Election: Oregonians prepare to vote in increasingly political school board races

By: - May 11, 2023

Across the top of a mailer recently sent to voters by a Christian-based political action committee was the message: “Local school board races have never been more crucial.” The flier – endorsing conservative candidates running for three of the seven seats on Salem-Keizer Public Schools’ governing board – said a review of recent headlines shows […]

school desk education

Legislative proposal aims to streamline virtual charter school process

By: - May 9, 2023

A bill moving through the Oregon Legislature could help students who want to attend virtual charter schools. Supporters of House Bill 3204 want to streamline communication between school districts and families seeking to leave brick-and-mortar districts and enroll children in virtual charter schools. The student’s home district has to approve the switch, and districts with […]

U.S. lawmakers in Oregon urge federal authorities to curb opioid use

By: - April 20, 2023

Oregon teens are dying of drug-related causes faster than in any other state, and the government needs to do more about it, members of Oregon’s congressional delegation said Thursday. U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Reps. Suzanne Bonamici, Lori Chavez-DeRemer, Earl Blumenauer, Andrea Salinas and Val Hoyle urged U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel […]

school meals

Oregon moves toward offering universal school meals

By: - March 29, 2023

Schools nationwide received federal COVID-19 relief money to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students at the height of the pandemic. But those funds expired in the summer of 2022 when Congress failed to extend school meal waivers.  Now, individual states are figuring out how to move forward.  Oregon has taken a few steps […]

Oregon schools may be required to electronically notify families, employees of threats

By: - March 27, 2023

UPDATED on Monday March 27, 2023 at 4 p.m. with committee vote Locking doors. Slamming window blinds. Teachers telling students to be quiet and hide under desks. As Rep. Ricki Ruiz, D-Gresham, put it: “This isn’t a quote from a George Orwell book. This is a reality for many students.” Oregon lawmakers from both sides […]

Students in class

Gov. Kotek urges state lawmakers to back literacy initiative 

By: - March 15, 2023

Gov. Tina Kotek kicked off her first term this year with an especially big goal – to revamp the way Oregon teaches children to read and write.  Less than half of Oregon students can read and write at their grade level. This has a substantial impact on the students individually and on society. Kotek is […]