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Brown unveils school plans

Gov. Kate Brown released her seven-step education policy agenda on Monday, components of which will be included in her proposed 2019-21 state budget, her spokeswoman said.

“The governor strongly believes that in order to effect change for Oregon’s students, a multi-pronged approach is vital,” said Kate Kondayen, a press secretary in Brown’s office.

The press secretary did not answer a question from the Pamplin/EO Media Group about how much the education policy agenda would cost.

The governor’s proposed statewide budget is due in late November. At 77 percent, Oregon has one of the worst on-time graduation rates in the nation and one of the shortest school years, according to federal statistics.

Her plan would:

• Increase access to preschool for low-income children. She plans to propose funding to send 10,000 more children to preschool in the next two-year budget and 40,000 by 2025.

• Decrease the median class size from 22 to 20 in kindergarten, maintain 23 in first grade, and reduce the size from 24 in the second grade and 25 in the third grade to 23.

• Mandate a minimum 180-day school year.

• Accept recommendations from a policy advisory committee on policies to create “safe and effective schools,” including enhancing access to counselors and mental health professionals.

• Boost access to career-technical education.

• Enhance support for educators and high quality instruction.

Oregon Rep. Knute Buehler, the GOP nominee for governor, released his education platform in late June.


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