As a homegrown graduate of our public schools, and a college instructor, education is a major priority for me.  I want Oregon to reclaim our standing as a place of excellence for our students, teachers, and parents.  A robust economy and engaged electorate depend upon accessibility to high quality, innovative educational opportunities. Below are commitments that I made and a report of the progress we have made in the Oregon Legislature during the 2015 and 2016 Legislative sessions.

Paul_with_kids_outside_capital_.jpgPromises Made:

  • “QEM-Plus 3” baseline funding formula: implementation of Quality Education Model funding targets with additional above baseline support for community developed workforce development priorities
  • Mandatory “Civics” curriculum (12-year program for students at each grade level)
  • Maximum Class sizes, maximum student-teacher-support staff ratios, and mandatory teacher training support requirements
  • Statewide investments in regional workforce priorities through community colleges, trade apprenticeships, and benchmark private/public partnership incubators
  • State-sponsored incentives for community/business/retired seniors volunteer incentives

Promises Kept:

  1. Increased state investments in K-12 funding to $7.4 Billion;
  2. Increased state investments in community colleges to $530 Million and
  3. Increased university investments to $700 Million, which included a 28% boost for Western Oregon University;
  4. HB 2928 creates a task force to explore ways to reduce class sizes in our public schools;
  5. HB 4002 develops a statewide plan to address chronic absenteeism in K-12 schools, with policy suggestions of how we can help our students successfully complete their primary education;
  6. Secured $12.6 million for Western Oregon University to renovate Oregon Military Academy and Natural Science buildings;
  7. HB 4021 requires the State Treasurer and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to explore ways to lower interest rates on student loans;
  8. HB 2545 requires that schools provide free lunches for students who are eligible for reduced price lunches;
  9. HB 2955 administers funding for an annual conference on civics as well as creates an Oregon Civics Day for teachers.