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.


Oregon lawmakers back education bill to stem antisemitism

By: - March 14, 2023

State lawmakers want Oregon students to learn about Jewish history and their contributions to society. House Bill 2905 would add people of Jewish descent to an existing requirement that schools teach the histories and contributions of marginalized or underserved people. That law, passed by the Legislature in 2019, requires schools to teach students the histories and […]

Freshmen head to classes at McKay High School in April 2021. Absentee rates were high among seniors and also young students, the Oregon Department of Education said. (Amanda Loman/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Proposal would remove requirement that boys’ bathrooms have tampons, sanitary pads

By: - March 4, 2023

Public schools statewide are required to provide free tampons and sanitary pads for all students. But a bill introduced in Oregon’s 2023 legislative session seeks to change that. Oregon’s Menstrual Dignity Act – passed in 2021 as House Bill 3294 – requires schools to provide menstrual products in gender-neutral, male and female restrooms, making them […]

Legislative proposal would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in local school board elections

By: - March 3, 2023

A new bill facing the Oregon Legislature this session would lower the voting age for school board elections. Other bills this session aim to lower the state’s voting age in various capacities, including House Joint Resolution 20, which proposes an amendment to the Oregon constitution to lower the state’s voting age from 18 to 16. […]

Proposals in Oregon Senate aim to ease educator shortage

By: - March 2, 2023

Schools nationwide and across Oregon have been facing educator shortages for years, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Oregon lawmakers are considering bills this session they believe will address the problem’s root causes. Among them are Senate Bill 279, which would make it easier and less cost-prohibitive for teachers from other states to work in Oregon, […]

Young people are getting involved with policymaking this session

Young people are speaking up in the state Legislature. Are adults listening?

By: - February 20, 2023

Nearly half of the first state Senate committee on energy and environment meeting this session was spent listening to testimony from eight people – all of them in their teens or early 20s.  An eighth grader spoke about the negative impacts of the meat industry on human health and the environment. A high schooler spoke […]

Freshmen head to classes at McKay High School in April 2021. Absentee rates were high among seniors and also young students, the Oregon Department of Education said. (Amanda Loman/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Kotek proposes $13.5 billion for education but critics say more is needed

By: - February 6, 2023

Over the next two years, Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek wants to invest more money in education for the state’s youngest learners, ensure ninth graders are on-track to graduate and address racial inequities for students and educators. She also wants to improve literacy rates and lower child care costs. She’s proposing a budget that represents an […]

students graduating

Dozens of legislative bills address curriculum, parent choice, teachers and more

By: - January 30, 2023

Over the next five months, Oregon lawmakers will consider more than 100 proposals that could impact hundreds of thousands of students statewide. Curriculum, school resource officers, parent choice, expanding the teacher workforce, funding, graduation standards and student equity are among the topics being discussed.  K-12 education will be a primary focus this year as newly […]

high school graduation

Oregon’s high school graduation rate up slightly in 2022

By: - January 26, 2023

Oregon’s high school graduation rate edged up slightly last year to the second highest in state history. Last year nearly 38,000 students graduated in four years – a rate of 81.3%, according to data released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Education. This marked an increase from the prior year’s rate of 80.6%. The state’s […]