This week the Oregon Senate voted to pass Bill 553 with a bipartisan vote of 27-3. The creation of this bill is based on changing current disproportionality in school discipline practices against minority students. Instead of suspending or expelling students based on minor and subjective classroom disruptions, Bill 553 requires that there is evidence of objective infractions of physical harm and threats when suspending or expelling students in the fifth grade or below.
On April 6, 2015 the Oregon Senate approved this biennium’s budget of $7.255 billion for school funding. Specifically, this budget a $600 million increase over the last biennium budget. It also includes funding for full-day Kindergarten and targeted investments to support children with disabilities, low-income students, and English language learners. Now, HB 5017 will be considered by the Governor.
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Check out this episode of This American Life that presents an alternative view of student perspectives:
“There’s a program that brings together kids from two schools. One school is public and in the country’s poorest congressional district. The other is private and costs $43,000/year. They are three miles apart. The hope is that kids connect, but some of the public school kids just can’t get over the divide. We hear what happens when you get to see the other side and it looks a lot better. (Beeped version)”
Find the episode here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/550/three-miles