Scales May Tip for School Choice Today

School Choice is up for a vote in the Oregon House today, and your voice could tip the balance. Legislators and lobbyists have been working frantically behind the scenes on an education package that could help transform educational opportunities for students across Oregon. The package features reforms that will shape the state’s oversight of education as well as parents’ ability to choose a public school based on a school’s merits rather than its address.

One of the bills at the center of the tension, HB 3645, would allow Oregon’s public colleges to sponsor a charter school. Oregon’s charter schools are public schools that are operated by non-profit organizations. These schools do not charge tuition, cannot be religiously based, and cannot discriminate against students for their background, academic aptitude, or any other reason. Currently, only school districts or the State Board of Education may sponsor charter schools. This bill would allow charter applicants to ask Oregon’s public colleges to sponsor charters. Many states, including New York, Michigan, and Minnesota, already have similar laws.

You can read more about the bills here.

Want kids to have more educational options? This afternoon, the Oregon House of Representatives will be voting on three school choice bills that would allow parents to have better access to public schools (especially charter schools). If the House passes the bills today, the Oregon State Senate is expected to vote tonight on the bills.

If you support these bills, please contact your legislator immediately and urge him or her to support school choice and Oregon’s charter schools.

Christina Martin is a policy analyst and the School Choice Project Director at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.