March 17th and 18th, the Democratic Party of Oregon held its 2018 Platform Convention at Parrish Middle School in Salem. It is a time for Democrats to band together to articulate our shared values, goals, and legislative agenda to create a strong, shared voice for the future. Proposed Legislative Actions (LAIs) that have previously been submitted by counties from across the state undergo a process to accept, eliminate, amend, edit, and also add additional items before a vote is taken to prioritize the agenda.
Education is only one of many areas considered for legislative action items at the convention. All categories include: Economy; Education; Environment; Foreign Policy and National Security; Good Governance; Healthcare, Basic Needs and Gun Safety; immigration; Infrastructure; Criminal Justice; Social Justice; and Science and Technology.
The following is the 2018 Education agenda with LAIs ranked in order of importance with number one being voted the highest priority by constituents present. The number in parentheses indicates the number of votes cast for each item.
Proposed Legislative Items
1. Revise corporate taxes to increase their contribution to the State general fund
and enact financial services transaction fees solely dedicated to fully funding
Oregon’s Quality Education Model (QEM). (54)
2. Set class size numbers based upon reliable age-based research studies taking
into account the educational needs to students, to promote equitable class sizes
and support students with unique educational needs across the state. (46)
3. Provide quality education model (QEM) level funding to Oregon’s public schools.
deny funding for the expansion of private charter and for-profit schools, vouchers
of all types, the use of non-licensed teachers in EdTech classrooms, social impact
bonds, and other schemes that weaken public schools while accelerating the
privatization of public education. (37)
4. Prohibit teachers and other school staff from bringing firearms to school. (37)
5. Provide funding to restore critical elements of the core curriculum that have
been reduced or eliminated over the last decade, including: the content areas of
science, history, civics, critical thinking, the arts, languages, physical education,
technology, counseling, health services, libraries, librarian support, and
alternative education in our public schools. (36)
6. Enable Oregon students to attend public college regardless of ability to pay. Fund
post-secondary public education for Oregon’s students, including community
colleges, career/vocational training, colleges, and universities. (27)
7. Amend mandatory reporting language to exclude consensual sexual contact between adolescents (ages 13-17) unless there is a greater than 3-year age difference between partners. (27)
8. Withdraw from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium at every grade
level, and fund efforts to develop and adopt Oregon-centered, high-quality
statewide assessments to keep birth to Grade 12 education student-centered and
promote critical and creative thinking at all levels. (22)
9. Fund “wrap-around” programs for birth to Grade 12 that lead to student success,
such as mentoring, after-school programs, counselors (including mental health),
school nursing, and school health centers. (22)
10. Ensure the rights of educational professionals to freely and collectively negotiate
working conditions, wages, benefits, employment stability, and instructional and
educational issues that enhance opportunities for student learning. (22)
10. Require all school districts have policies to respond to federal, state, and local
officials requesting records or access to students or their families. Require that
families be informed that policies are in compliance with Oregon sanctuary law.
(ORS 181A 820) (18)
11. Adopt climate literacy K-12 Oregon social science standards to explore andaddress the root causes and consequences of the climate crisis and potential solutions. (20)
12. Require any school receiving state financial support, including charter and
virtual schools, to be accredited, and to be held accountable by a publicly elected
board that oversees all decisions, and that such support for charter and virtual
schools be based upon course completion, not enrollment. (18)
A ballot will be sent to delegates and votes will be cast this week. It is unusual for more than a couple of Education LAIs to make the final platform. I will post the results as soon as they are available -- most likely by the weekend.