Background

All of OBI’s 1,600-plus members rely on the effectiveness of our public education system, from pre-K through postsecondary. To continue to recover economically, our students need support in catching up from pandemic learning losses, and need-based aid programs that support postsecondary students must be fully funded. New programs and funding legislation must have accountability metrics and support to ensure that funds are actually improving educational outcomes.

 

Policy Principles

Transparency and Accountability: OBI supports increased accountability and transparency mechanisms to accurately track spending across the education system. Every dollar should be accounted for and tied to a measurable improved outcomes for Oregon’s students.

Protect Post-Secondary Success for all Oregonians: Oregon employers depend on our state’s public education system to produce an educated and prepared workforce. The state should maintain thoughtful investments in our higher education institutions and need-based aid programs. The state must prioritize increasing funding to post-secondary institutions with current resources before giving dollars to new projects.

OBI supports development of postsecondary options that provide credentialing or training for Oregonians to be prepared for the workforce, including removal of barriers to transferring credits earned in high school, especially through a career and technical education (CTE) program of study, to four-year colleges and universities. Support legislation that helps align credit options resulting in reduced student debt.

Workforce Development: Businesses around the state in all sectors are facing a workforce shortage. OBI supports incentivizing public-private partnerships to develop workforce and job readiness training that meets the needs of the current and future economy.

Childcare: OBI supports easing the path of certification for providers and exploring best practices from other states that creates sustainable, scalable options for access to care and incentives for cost sharing and public-private partnerships.

Prioritize Education Stability: Stabilizing the entire education continuum must be a priority in every budget cycle. The state’s budget writers should focus on maintaining critical programs, and not launch new programs that take away resources from proven successful ones. We must also encourage legislators to evaluate existing programs to determine effectiveness when making budget decisions. Cost savings and good governance goals can be achieved through rigorous evaluation of underperforming programs.

Equity and the Digital Divide: OBI supports legislation that strengthens distance learning programming, including public-private partnerships that facilitate the connection between marginalized students and their teachers. OBI recognizes that minority communities continue to be underserved by our existing education system and supports programs to close the achievement gap affecting students across our state.

Student Success Act (SSA): Support legislation that ensures appropriate oversight of Student Success Act (SSA) expenditures and holds the Department of Education and school districts accountable to stated goals and outcomes. OBI believes any amendments to the accountability measures (testing, etc.) should accurately track student and teacher progress to keep programs on schedule and increase graduation rates. When possible, encourage districts to use funds for increased access to science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and (CTE) programs, as well as financial literacy education. The SSA also includes innovative accountability measures for districts, which OBI strongly supports.

Continuation of CTE/STEM Investments: OBI supports continuation of CTE/STEM policies that include but are not limited to, weighted funding, continued funding for revitalization grants, teacher licensure pathways, regional hubs, and course equivalency standards.

COMMITTEE CHAIRS:

Chris Minnich, NWEA

Lori Olund, Miles Fiberglass & Composites

Download OBI’s 2024 Policy Principles

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