K-12 Education Platform

As Oregon’s governor, I’ll measure our progress by how our kids are doing - and that means a renewed commitment to our public schools. For too long we’ve been tinkering around the edges rather than making the broad-based changes that we know will make a difference for our kids, like investing in our youngest learners through Baby Bonds and Universal Pre-K, extending student learning before and after school and in the summer, and supporting educators.

Children, parents and teachers have all struggled through this pandemic. Research shows remote learning has been disastrous for our kids, who have fallen behind academically and suffered emotionally. I will do everything I can to keep schools open and kids learning in the classroom, while keeping teachers, staff and students healthy. But rather than going back to business as usual, as governor I will lead the way in making our schools hubs for student learning, community connection, family support, comprehensive nutrition services, and access to physical and mental health care. Investing in our future is my priority, and that starts with investing in our kids.

Invest In Kids At Birth By Issuing Baby Bonds.

  • Transform the Common School Fund into an Education Endowment Fund that issues Baby Bonds for every newborn in Oregon to establish a $1,000 529 College Savings Account for education. Upon completion of high school, those funds would be available to support continued education or job training and apprenticeships

Increase Literacy Rate By 3rd Grade.

  • Establish the Oregon Early Literacy Initiative aimed at providing every K-3 student with access to teachers trained in the Science of Reading, and expand early literacy support for struggling learners in grades K-3

Give Special Education Students The Education They Deserve.

  • Increase state support for special education so that every child has access to a high-quality, inclusive education

Value More Than Just Testing.

  • Identify ways to deepen student learning by de-emphasizing duplicative and inefficient high-stakes testing, while increasing opportunities to access more rigorous coursework and increased academic support

Make Expanded Learning Affordable For Every Family.

  • Expansion of free before and after-school enrichment programs

  • Expansion of free Summer enrichment programs

Prioritize physical and emotional health.

  • Fund more school nurses so that every school has access to at least a ½ time nurse, and look at ways to bring in recently retired health care professionals to support workforce challenges

  • Support healthy nutrition by expanding Oregon’s Farm to School and School Garden Network

  • Phase out fees for extracurricular activities and guarantee that every student has access to after-school sports, and music and arts programs, regardless of income

Invest in K-12 Educators and Staff.

  • Stabilize the K-12 workforce by using federal pandemic funding to provide school districts with opportunities to offer hazard pay and forgive student loans for educators with 5 or more years experience, and waive TSPC fees for new educators and substitute teachers

  • Allow Instruction Assistants who are sponsored by their school districts to access Oregon Promise funding to pay for community college, and increase funding for the Oregon Teacher Mentor Program

  • Increase racial diversity of the workforce by requiring local districts to report demographic information of educators; create a program to identify high school students from diverse backgrounds who would like to pursue education as a career, and provide greater access to scholarships and mentorships

  • Support the next generation of teachers by increasing funding for Oregon’s public universities

Offer High-quality access to learning for every student.

  • Close the digital divide for low income and rural students by expanding access to Oregon Lifeline and continuing to invest in broadband infrastructure in underserved communities

  • Increase funding to Oregon’s successful Safe Routes to School program so that more children are able to safely walk and bike to school

  • Support efforts by school districts to keep school libraries open and accessible during the summer