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“Historic” Education Bills Pass Legislature

Some are calling this session one that could go down in the history books for education reform. Tuesday lawmakers blessed a package of 14 education bills; both parties are calling it a victory. State Representative Jason Conger of Bend: “It will likely represent the most fundamental education reform in Oregon history.” The bills deal with improving charter schools, adding flexibility into the system for teachers, parents and students  and allowing for state funded all day kindergarten. One bill would also eliminate the elected state schools superintendent position, and give that role to the Governor. We spoke with current State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo recently about that idea: “It would not take effect until after my term as expired. And so I am starting my third term, so I’m in the first year, of a four-year term.” Castillo says while she doesn't support this part of the Governor's Education Reform Plan, she does agree with Kitzhaber on most of his other ideas.   The Governor also praised lawmakers for their actions on education bills, and says they've successfully shifted the debate from funding schools to structural changes needed in Oregon to deliver better results for students.




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