Buehler Announces Ambitious Goals And Outcomes For Education

The reform-minded candidate pledges to lead Oregon schools from the bottom five in the nation to the top five in five years

At an event with parents and students outside Davis Elementary School in the Reynolds School District today, gubernatorial nominee Knute Buehler announced his five-point plan to dramatically improve K-12 education in Oregon by solving the state’s classroom funding and high school graduation crisis, a key component of which is restoring Oregon’s “lost school year.”

“Oregon schoolchildren and their families have waited long enough for leadership to improve our schools. Governor Brown has failed too many kids from too many schools for too many years. As Governor, I will challenge the status quo, restore high expectations and combine the best ideas from both parties to move our schools from some of lowest performing in the nation to some of the highest,” said Buehler.

Highlights of the plan include:

Enhanced Classroom Funding – Solve Oregon’s classroom funding crisis with a combination of K-12 General Fund budget increases averaging 15 percent over 4 years, and pension and health insurance reforms that could re-direct an additional $1.2 billion in new, performance-based classroom spending each year.

Improved Education Standards and Outcomes – Move Oregon’s high school graduation rate from 48th in the nation to the top five in the nation within five years through a combination of academic and funding reforms, teacher support initiatives and a strong commitment to career and technical education.

Restore the Lost School Year – Return Oregon to the national standard of 180-day school year from the current, shortest in the nation, 165-day average for schools in Oregon. The current 165-day average translates into Oregon students attending one year less school than students in Washington State.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) – Fully fund Oregon’s under-funded career and technical education initiative approved by voters under Ballot Measure 98. CTE is a proven approach to dropout prevention and prepares kids for further skills-based education, work or careers.

A Modern Funding Formula – Align desired education achievement outcomes with the process for how local school districts negotiate contracts and receive funds from the state.

“These are big important goals – but Oregon students and Oregon’s future can’t wait. I am excited to engage educators, legislators from both parties, school advocates, parents and students from across the state to give every child in Oregon a better shot at a brighter future,” said Buehler.

You can read a complete copy of the plan here.