BEND, OR -- Oregon Governor Kate Brown visited Bend Senior High Wednesday, speaking with students involved in hands-on learning courses and touring classrooms. She says Oregon's current prosperity isn't equitable, which means the only way to get and stay out of poverty is to be educated, "We know that in a lot of parts of Oregon, the economy is booming, yet too many people need to work more than one job, just to get by. Oregon's rising economic tide should be lifting all boats, yet many hard working families are still underwater."
Brown told students, "The challenge that we face in Oregon is that our high school graduation rate is abysmally low. one out of four high school students doesn't graduate. we have a graduation rate of 75%. In my mind, that's absolutely unacceptable." But, she says CTE programs can help, "We know that students across the state of Oregon, if they have access to hands-on learning, we see the graduation rate improve to 86%. That's extraordinary."
Brown believes recent actions will start improving graduation rates, "This last Legislative session, I worked with the Legislature; we invested over $170 million into Career and Technical Education."
Bend State Representative and Republican candidate for Governor Knute Buehler has criticized Brown for failing to improve graduation rates. He says More than 20,000 kids have dropped out of Oregon schools since Brown became Governor.