Monday, October 29, 2012

Recap from the OEIB Funding Forum in Salem

One of our members, Steve Buel, attended the Oregon Education Investment Board's Funding Priorities forum in Salem last week.  As the media failed to report on this event, we at Oregon SOS feel it is important to let people know what was said by the public.

Here is his report.

Snippets from the
Educational Funding Team Recommendations to the Governor Salem Forum

63 people testified. 50 said they were in strong opposition to the recommendations. Usually they suggested that the OEIB should seek increased and stable funding as their top priority. They also questioned the directions the OEIB was taking. No one was strongly supporting the plan.

19 comments about the unaffordability of higher ed.tuition/going into debt, etc
10 comments about need for well rounded curriculum (arts/etc.)
15 comments about the need to address poverty and/or ELL
5 comments about need for more librarians
15 comments about intolerable class sizes

Here are some of the “best moments” from the evening:

Rudy Crew in his talk said we needed to leave alone test scores and “focus on the joy of reading”.

Rudy also said we need to raise the bar on “how we support teachers”.

One of the community college students said his brother is close to finishing up Med school and he has a half million in debt. That is what he said. The kid only has $30 k.

A Salem-Keizer person said her district has cut 125 million in the last 4 years.

One CC student said she wanted to be a teacher and was looking at $40 k in debt.  She said she was “scared” – big debt, no jobs. 

Community colleges have been cut from a $500 million budget from the state to a $395 budget. They are asking for $510 million.

A CC student said it wasn’t right to take from successful programs now and give money to new stuff.

A teacher said they should “put their money where their mouth is”.

A Clackamas School Board member said the school board was responsible for the education of the children in her district meaning not the OEIB. Second she said she couldn’t translate the recommendations to parents and had to read it three times herself to understand it. And third she said, “We need immediate and sustainable funding”. 

A WOU person (may have been a student) asked why their new stuff was “more important than what we already have”.

One of the CC students asked “what good is a college which is the best in the world if student debt is so outrageous?”  and added “our education system is so malnourished that it is on the brink of starvation.”

Dallas schools have cut 5 days for 5 years.

Oregon Save Our Schools member Peter Teller talked about poverty’s influence on education. “creativity has been siphoned off by the loss of electives”.  “Half of our students arrive at school lethargic and withdrawn.”  The “desire to learn is driven right out of the minds of our kids.”

A mother of a student who is about to go to college to be a history teacher  feared for his future.

One person had 36 kids in their kindergarten class in their school.

A  favorite quote of the night, from an ex-penitentiary volunteer, “In penitentiaries the percentage of uneducated people is really high.”


1 comment:

  1. How are we supposed to focus on the joy of reading and leave the test scores alone, when we keep increasing the stakes on high stakes testing and curriculum adoptions rule the day? Nice sound bites on that, but then Rudy and the state need to allow education policy decisions to start from the bottom up...from those closest to students: students, teachers, and parents.