The state is celebrating a big number for education – but other numbers in Oregon warrant attention

BY: - December 3, 2021

“Ain’t nothing ever enough.” That observation, delivered by a union negotiating team member years ago, has stayed with me ever since as an ever-ready description for what goes on in both bargaining and budgeting. The most recent example came in response to a legislative report showing that Oregon has reached a multi-decade high water mark […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

Oregon is losing female school superintendents, new study highlights why

BY: - November 24, 2021

In Oregon, school districts filled 29 openings for school superintendents this year. Just eight were women. Of those, only three got contracts for more than a year.  Such figures illustrate the gender gap playing out in hiring and retention among the state’s school district leaders, where men make up 75% of school superintendents, according to […]

Community college enrollments in Oregon begin to stabilize, but decade of decline worrying

BY: - November 16, 2021

Oregon’s 17 community colleges have managed to slow steep pandemic drops in enrollment according to figures released Friday but their future is uncertain.  Last year, the total student headcount was down 23% from the year before. This year, it slowed to a drop of less than 1%.  Still, community colleges enroll 60,000 fewer students today […]

School staffing issues in Oregon called ‘real, emergency situation’

BY: - November 15, 2021

At a Senate Education Committee meeting on Monday, superintendents and representatives from school boards and teachers associations detailed dire staffing situations across the state that are harming students and even potentially violating federal law. Among the most severe shortages: special education instructors.  Staffing shortages have forced at least one education service district to curtail special […]

New Southern Oregon University president announced

BY: - November 10, 2021

Oregon’s fourth largest university and the state’s southern flagship has announced its next president.  Richard Bailey, Jr., 51, will oversee Southern Oregon University in Ashland starting in January. He’ll be the university’s 14th president since its founding in 1872. He takes over from Linda Schott, who announced in April that she would retire by the […]

Audit: Education department has improved cyber security, but some gaps persist

BY: - November 10, 2021

The Oregon Department of Education’s IT office largely passed the state’s audit of its cybersecurity protocols in a report released Wednesday, but several persistent gaps remain since they were reviewed in 2019.  The Education Department’s Office of Finance and Information Technology is tasked with supporting agency technology and creating web applications that help with programs […]

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

Oregon attorney general leads call to end Trump exemptions for religious schools

BY: - November 4, 2021

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and 18 other state attorney generals are seeking to eliminate Trump-era measures that relaxed anti-discrimination rules for religious schools. Three Oregon students are among the plaintiffs and one private university in Salem is intervening to defend the Trump rules.  The attorney generals filed a brief in the U.S. District Court […]

Oregon senators want closer scrutiny of Chemawa Indian School

BY: - October 26, 2021

It’s been six years since the Chemawa Indian School in Salem was last reviewed by the federal Department of the Interior, which found then that “the school did not have an adequate plan in place to ensure students’ educational achievement.”  Now U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have asked the department to look into […]

Ethics complaint against former Oregon State president will be dismissed

BY: - October 22, 2021

Former Oregon State University President F. King Alexander won’t face any consequences for using university attorneys to respond to a probe into Louisiana State University’s handling of campus rape allegations during his tenure there.  The Oregon Government Ethics Commission voted 3-2 Friday morning to dismiss a complaint against Alexander. The vote ultimately didn’t matter, however, […]