The Oregon Education Investment Board, chaired by Governor Kate Brown and led by the Chief Education Officer, is building a seamless system for delivering public education from birth to college & career so that each Oregon student has access to high quality education and boundless opportunities for the future.
According to a study released this week by the League of Women Voters of Oregon Education Fund, of the 45,000 children born in Oregon each year, about forty percent, or 18,000 of them are considered to be at risk. For the purposes of the study and others like it, at risk is defined by: children living in a household at or near poverty; having inadequate nutrition; living in a house where a parent suffers from mental illness or substance abuse; having unmet health care needs; or having a racial or minority status that is historically consistent with disproportionate overrepresentation in academic opportunity gaps. We know many children across the state experience many of these challenges simultaneously. It is for these children, and others that will come after them, that we must implement an integrated set of strategies to ensure that our youngest Oregonians have the range of services and support they need to thrive in school and in life.
The most effective investment in Oregon’s future begins today with our youngest Oregonians. Our children are our future and the best way to ensure their lifelong success, and maximize resources, is to invest from birth.
While presenting to attendees at the Full Day Kindergarten Summit last week, I shared that I believe we are in a moment in time; a time where educators, child care providers and communities are synergizing in powerful ways to change the story for those 18,000 children who will be born in 2015 and the thousands of others in the early years of their life.
I believe that if we start with the end in mind (high school graduation, college or career readiness) and increasingly think about birth to age nine in terms of an integrated pathway; if we blur the lines between early learning and K-12; between families and community; between education and health, we will change the story for many of our youngest Oregonians. Oregon’s children are counting on us to color outside the lines!
Governor Brown Names Lindsey Capps New Education Policy Advisor
Governor Brown announced on Thursday that Lindsey Capps will serve as her education policy advisor, effective Monday, March 9. Most recently, Capps served as chief of staff and deputy to Nancy Golden, Chief Education Officer. During his tenure with the OEIB, Capps worked on the education budget and issues ranging from early learning to reinvesting in Career and Technical Education, supporting English language learners, and identifying ways to improve student assessment.
Over the past several months there has been a growing recognition that many aspects of Career Technical Education (CTE) overlap directly with how the STEM Investment Council envisions transforming the way we motivate and prepare more students for careers in STEM. Current high-wage, high-demand jobs across sectors such as advanced manufacturing, energy, health sciences, engineering, computer sciences, technology, food processing, and agriculture require deep understanding and technical skills that lie along a continuum of educational attainment. Similarly, the approaches that are used in quality STEM and CTE education engage students in meaningful “hands-on and minds-on” projects that keep students along a successful pathway to future careers. Recognizing this, the Legislature is considering a bill, SB 112, that would more tightly integrate the work of the STEM Investment Council and the CTE Revitalization Advisory Committee. Last week, the STEM Council was briefed on the tremendous work of the CTE Revitalization efforts and they are excited about the potential synergies between these two initiatives.
The STEM Council also discussed testimony regarding another bill, HB 2728, that would establish an Oregon Talent Council (OTC) to oversee post-secondary program investments aligned to changing workforce needs in high-wage, high-demand sectors. This bill is very consistent with a proposal by the STEM Council last Spring to provide funding to expand to the scope of the Engineering and Technology Industry Council (ETIC) to support additional industry sectors and programs at community colleges as well as universities within Oregon. If established, the STEM Council would work closely with the OTC to ensure alignment of policies and investments.
Healthy Families Oregon Issues Request for Proposals
Healthy Families Oregon (HFO) is a voluntary and free family support and parent education home visiting program. HFO focuses on strengthening the parent-child relationship to assure healthy child growth and development. This work contributes to several of Oregon’s Early Childhood Benchmarks: increased school readiness, improving health outcomes for children and families, and reducing the incidence of child abuse and neglect.
The Early Learning Division (ELD) has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for HFO funds to be delivered statewide and to align its programs with the service delivery priorities of the Early Learning Division (ELD) of the Oregon Department of Education. The goal is to increase efficiencies at the state and local levels, increase accountability and communication between ELD and local programs, and to strengthen service delivery to families by improving coordination among early childhood programs.
To apply for this RFP, click here. For information, click here.