Friday, May 24, 2013

URGENT ACTION: INVEST in STUDENTS, NOT BUREAUCRATS!

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by Oregon Save Our Schools

Please contact members of the Joint Ways & Means Committee and urge them to say NO to the proposed strategic investments in education of the OEIB and redirect those funds into classrooms!

See sample letter and background information below.

Contact:
Senator Richard Devlin sen.richarddevlin@state.or.us 503-986-1719
Representative Peter Buckley rep.peterbuckley@state.or.us 503-986-1405
Senator Betsy Johnson sen.betsyjohnson@state.or.us 503-986-1716
Representative Dennis Richardson rep.dennisrichardson@state.or.us 503-986-1404
Representative Nancy Nathanson rep.nancynathanson@state.or.us 503-986-1413
Senator Alan Bates sen.alanbates@state.or.us 503-986-1703
Senator Rod Monroe sen.rodmonroe@state.or.us 503-986-1724
Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward sen.elizabethsteinerhayward@state.or.us 503-986-1717
Senator Chuck Thomsen sen.chuckthomsen@state.or.us 503-986-1726
Senator Doug Whitsett sen.dougwhitsett@state.or.us 503-986-1728
Senator Jackie Winters sen.jackiewinters@state.or.us 503-986-1710
Representative Jeff Barker rep.jeffbarker@state.or.us 503-986-1428
Senator Chris Edwards sen.chrisedwards@state.or.us 503-986-1707
Senator Fred Girod sen.fredgirod@state.or.us 503-986-1709
Senator Bill Hansell sen.billhansell@state.or.us 503-986-1729
Representative Lew Frederick rep.lewfrederick@state.or.us 503-986-1443
Representative Tim Freeman rep.timfreeman@state.or.us 503-986-1402
Representative Bruce Hanna  rep.brucehanna@state.or.us 503-986-1407
Representative John Huffman rep.johnhuffman@state.or.us 503-986-1459
Representative Bob Jenson rep.bobjenson@state.or.us 503-986-1458
Representative Betty Komp rep.bettykomp@state.or.us 503-986-1422
Representative Mike McLane rep.mikemclane@state.or.us 503-986-1400
Representative Tobias Read rep.tobiasread@state.or.us 503-986-1427
Representative Greg Smith rep.gregsmith@state.or.us 503-986-1457
Representative Carolyn Tomei rep.carolyntomei@state.or.us 503-986-1441
Representative Jennifer Williamson rep.jenniferwilliamson@state.or.us 503-986-1436

For easy, you can cut and paste these addresses into your email:



Sample message (please personalize):

Subject Line: NO on OEIB bills! INVEST IN STUDENTS, NOT BUREAUCRATS!

Dear Members of the Joint Ways & Means Committee:

With our kids sitting in ever more crowded classrooms, our Governor chooses to make a series of poorly thought out and disconnected “strategic investments” which have not be properly vetted by the public. Many of the dollars proposed in these bills are for “competitive grants” that will reward only a few districts, while the rest of our districts struggle. Additionally, most of these so called “investments” were developed by a private team cherry picked by the Governor. When these ideas were presented to the public in a series of forums, the public was outraged and noted how out of touch they were with reality and what we as parents, teachers, students and other community members know is needed to close the achievement and opportunity gaps. Restore common sense and democracy by voting NO on these bills, and redirect these funds into our classrooms!

While there are a variety of OEIB related bills that should be thoroughly scrutinized and called into question, we call upon you to redirect the funds of SB 5548, HB 3232, HB 3233, and HB 2636 into classrooms immediately!

Sincerely,
Name
Address
Phone #

Further background information (you can add as you see fit):

SB 5548: This is the OEIB budget bill currently at $7.2 million. Does the OEIB really need its own budget? Does it really need to hire a team of  researchers? A discretionary fund for the CedO? Money for a marketing campaign?? We think not.

HB 3232: Directs the OEIB to design and implement programs that make strategic investments related to education. This includes programs such as Oregon Reads, which public librarians, the Oregon School Librarian of the Year, and even members of the National Council of Teachers of English say is not the best use of funds to increase reading achievement at this time. Total right now is $39 million. Why is this money not being used to invest in our school libraries and library teachers instead?  Research shows that students, especially students of poverty, use their school library much more than the public library due to immediate access and instructional opportunities in information and literacy skills.

HB 3233: Directs OEIB/State Board of Ed to direct funds to public and private entities for a “Network of Quality Teaching and Learning.” This is the scaled down version of the “Regional Achievement Centers.” How effective can it really be if educators don't buy in? Stakeholders need to be a part of the decision making process in order for change to be effective. Even a good idea is doomed to fail if the stakeholders feel it is imposed on them without their input. Educators have ideas on how to improve achievement. Many are even more cost effective than what we put in place, yet these voices are ignored.  Morale of teachers is at an all time low. Is it any wonder why when we ignore them as professionals? Total right now is $30 million.

HB 2636: This directs $50 million of the General Fund to the STEM Investment Council for grants and articulates goals for K-12 and post-secondary STEM education. Rather than a grants based program, how about directing this money into actual career and tech training?

These four bills alone represent a total of $126.2 million. This is equivalent to 1400FTE or 700 teachers each year for the next two years. (That is more jobs than Nike promised with their tax deal!)