How the Student Success Act will invest in Oregon students

Jul 3, 2019

After nearly three decades of disinvestment in our schools, the Oregon Legislature passed landmark legislation this year to invest $1 billion annually in K-12 and early education. The legislation, called The Student Success Act, was the culmination of over a year of work, with constituents and legislators traveling the state to learn what was working in schools, what they needed, and how they could help. This critical revenue will be strategically invested in student success, with accountability measures built in to ensure funds are being spent wisely. 

The Student Success Act creates the Fund for Student Success, which is split into three new accounts. Funds will go into these accounts after current service is restored for the State School Fund. The three accounts are the Student Investment Account (50%), the Statewide Education Initiatives Account (30%) and the Early Learning Account (20%). 

 

Student Investment Account (50%) 

Funds from the Student Investment Account give schools the flexibility to target investments where they most need them, within a set of eligible uses. These uses include: 

  • Additional learning time
  • Students’ physical and social-emotional health and safety 
  • Class size reduction
  • Expand K-3 reading programs
  • Middle school college and career-connected learning
  • Counseling and student support programs 
  • Broadening curriculum options 

In addition to these specific eligible uses, the Student Investment Account includes performance metrics that will make sure districts stay on track. These include: 

  • On-time graduation rate
  • Percentage of students who finish ninth grade with 6 credits toward graduation
  • Percentage of third-graders reading at or above grade level
  • Percentage of students classified as regular attendees
  • Additional local measures 

With strategic areas for districts to invest and metrics to ensure accountability for the funds, the Student Investment Account will be a key piece of improving student success statewide. 

 

Statewide Education Initiatives Account (30%)

The Statewide Education Initiatives Account will fund statewide programs to help all schools raise performance levels for students. 

These funds will be distributed to support: 

  • Student Success Teams to provide Oregon Department of Education support for districts failing to achieve growth targets
  • Fully Fund Measure 98 with an additional $133 million for dropout prevention, career and technical education, and dual enrollment options
  • Universal Free Meals through school breakfast and lunch programs.
  • Pilot programs to re-engage youths who have left high school
  • High Cost Disability Fund to better help districts support students on an IEP
  • School Safety Task Force recommendations including statewide safety net for students and suicide prevention personnel in every region of the state
  • Funding for culturally specific community-based organizations that work in schools to improve student engagement and graduation rates
  • Work groups to improve transparency and reduce bureaucracy in Oregon’s education system
  • Education service districts’ work with schools 

 

Early Learning Account (20%)

The Early Learning Account will fund early learning programs statewide, including: 

  • Full funding of Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (birth-5)
  • Relief nurseries
  • New Early Childhood Equity Fund
  • Oregon pre-K programs
  • Professional development for early childhood educators
  • Early Head Start
  • Preschool Promise up to 200% of federal poverty levels

 

Together, these three accounts will provide the resources and strategic targets needed to increase student success throughout Oregon. With these funds, districts will have the resources needed to raise graduation rates, reduce class sizes, expand career and technical education, hire more teachers and counselors, and improve mental health services for students. 


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