What I Believe
Oregonians need and deserve better.
High-quality public schools are the cornerstone of a cohesive and flourishing society
- Good public education is the portal to economic opportunity
- Oregon isn’t at the bottom of the barrel on public education, but we are way too far from the top.
- We’re headed in the right direction. Technical and career-track programs are lifting graduation rates and community colleges are partnering with Oregon businesses in ways that ready more Oregonians for family-wage jobs.
Action We Need
- Keep building on our gains. Recent dropout-reduction strategies are working, and would work better with “wrap-around” services that get students to school ready to learn. More service integration is needed.
- Support initiatives by local communities to improve their schools (e.g., Medford’s Pathways Project, where high school sophomores declare a “major” and then get related training and support from local businesses).
- Make sure community colleges, with their solid record of cost-effective workforce training, have the funding they need.
- THE BIG ONE: instead of scrambling for fiscal bandaids each session, pass comprehensive reform like the Oregon Education Investment Initiative, introduced in 2017. The OEII is a smart strategic package that would boost education funding some $1.4 billion through cost containment and a restructuring of our corporate tax system.
- Build majority support for the OEII around the state by improving education performance measurements so that more Oregonians gain confidence that their tax dollars are well-spent.
- Explore possible cost savings through shifting school employee healthcare to coordinated care organizations, building a larger and larger pool to bring down per-person premiums. This would be a major step to making Oregon the first “public option” state for universal healthcare.