Every Oregon student deserves the same opportunity to succeed. No matter their backgrounds, all children should know that through school they can change their lives and achieve their dreams. Sadly, this isn’t the case.

For schools with a majority of low-income students, graduation rates are among the lowest in the state. This doesn’t have to be so.

For example, West Albany has among the top graduation rates in the state despite one-third of its students being from low-income homes. Century High School in Hillsboro, which serves a student body that is half low-income, posted a graduation rate of 92 percent. That’s well above the state average and exceeded the rate of wealthier schools.

The Oregonian reported in 2018 that Century’s teachers, counselors, administrators and other staff have found a way to “catch students before or as soon as they slip up and to provide individualized support to get them going again.”

Century High School Principal Martha Guise told The Oregonian: “We chase kids down and we let them know we really believe in them.”

Don’t all Oregon students deserve the same chance?

Given the right resources, students can receive the support to learn and grow no matter their background. That’s what Oregon should be known for. To make this a reality we need to fully fund our schools.


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