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BSD Action Alert - April 10, 2019

** Update 4/17/2019: Due to some technical drafting problems with HB 2019, the legislature has had to change the bill number that will be used for the proposed $2 billion investment package.  The new bill is HB 3427.  This does not change the proposal or content but it does change one thing;  all of the testimony and support that many of you sent for the official record does NOT move to the new bill.


As many of you are aware, the Beaverton School District, and districts all around Oregon, are facing a crisis.  We have a growing robust economy, but we are facing significant budget reductions as a result of the state’s inability to fund education adequately.  The legislature needs to hear from you! They need to know that Oregonians VALUE and DEMAND a high-quality public education system for their kids. And given the extent of the problem we are taking the extraordinary step of asking for your help.

This morning, on behalf of the Beaverton School District Board of Directors, Chair Becky Tymchuk and Vice-Chair Eric Simpson sent this short letter to our legislative delegation and legislative leadership in Salem:

President Courtney, Speaker Kotek, & Beaverton Area Legislators:

Thank you!  Thank you for the leadership you are showing our state.  We are in the middle of crafting our 2019-20 school year budget and the choices we have to make are simply untenable.  After finally turning a corner and beginning to make progress on building back the services we’ve lost over the years, the prospect of undoing that work is not one we want to face.  The actions this week by the Joint Committee on Student Success and the work around HB 2019 has given us hope that the legislature will indeed act.

We ask that you make this a priority and ensure that our students both today and for years to come receive the education they deserve.  Our students deserve a robust school year, lower class sizes, and greater diversity of learning options. Our students deserve a system that is funded in such a way as to be able to offer the necessary services and options for kids that will ensure their success in life.  We know what can make a difference for kids and with your help we can make that a reality. The proposal from the Joint Committee on Student Success can finally break us from the cycle of cuts we have dealt with for three decades.

We stand ready to support all elected leaders that make the decision to ensure a brighter future with a long- term funding solution for Oregon students.  We hope you will all join us in this choice.

Sincerely,
Becky Tymchuk & Eric Simpson
Chair & Vice-Chair of the Beaverton School District Board of Directors

 We are at a critical juncture for our schools, now is the time to act and make your voice heard.  The legislature is currently considering a $2 billion (per biennium) additional investment in education.  The proposal they are considering would bring greater fairness to the state’s tax system while raising additional revenue for schools.  It would invest exclusively in pre-K through high school in a targeted way that ensures accountability of resources while protecting the current base.  This is potentially a transformative moment for education and our legislature must not let it pass.

Please take a few minutes of your time to send an email to your legislators and urge them to adequately fund public education.  

  1. Go to https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html where you will find a simple way to look up the email addresses for both your Senate and House members.  
  2. I would ask that you please CC: david_williams@beaverton.k12.or.us so we can support your efforts.
  3. Tell your story!  Please tell your legislators what your dream is for public education and for your kids, grandkids, neighborhood kids, etc.  We’ve all seen the impact of reductions, but we need to focus on what we want as we look to grow public education in Oregon.  Keep your email simple and focus on key messages:
  • Fund education adequately! Support the proposal from the Joint Committee for Student Success (House Bill 3427) to create a $2 billion investment in our kids.
  • Talk about your dream of what our education system should be and can be when we make true investments.
    • Your belief that your kids’ success, or Oregon’s success, requires quality schools and that the status quo is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
    • Give an example of the situation in your neighborhood school.
    • Talk about the need for smaller classes, increased learning time, and/or greater supports for kids.
  • Ask them to show the leadership you elected them for and to solve this problem and fund schools.

Thank you in advance for your advocacy!  Only through our concerted action, in partnership with districts around the state, will we be able to make a difference for our kids. Take the time to act!

 

Sincerely,
Don Grotting, Superintendent