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Knopp co-sponsors K-12 ‘strategic investment’ bills


Senate Education Committee Chair Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) and Vice-Chair Tim Knopp (R-Bend) introduced three bills Tuesday that they say target strategic investment in K-12 education.

The bills fund strategic grants for education innovation and intervention programs and increase funding for special education and ELL programs.

“The perennial battle over K-12 education funding often neglects to address strategic, innovative programs that stretch our education dollars and ensure they end up where they belong: in the classroom,” the senators said in a joint news release.

“These bills will give school districts in rural areas the additional flexibility and support they need to ensure every student has a fair shot at success,” they added.

Superintendents across the state, facing the challenge of creating educational opportunities for a diverse group of students with limited budgets, expressed support for the bills.

“These strategic dollars will allow me to tailor our efforts in support of the unique challenges present in my school district.” said Steve Boynton, Lincoln County School District superintendent.

“During my 43 years as an educator in Oregon and Washington and seven years as superintendent of Bend-La Pine Schools, I have watched the continued decline of our available state resources going towards our schools. I see this bill as one of the first genuine efforts to make K-12 education a priority in our state again.” said Ron Wilkinson, Bend-LaPine Schools superintendent.

“Responsible education funding requires that all Oregon students receive the support needed to maximize student achievement.These bills allow schools to support current programs and make strategic investments in support of all students.” said Marc Thielman, Alsea Schools superintendent.

“These bills are smart. They will provide us with the funding we need to meet the needs of all students and help us to differentiate resources to the point of greatest impact. They are a good first step toward stable funding for public education in Oregon.” said Rob Hess, Lebanon School District superintendent.

Roblan, a former math teacher and school principal in Coos Bay, represents the Oregon coast from Coos Bay to Oceanside and parts of Polk and Yamhill Counties. He serves as chair of the Senate Education Committee.

Knopp, who has called for an $8 billion school budget this biennium – higher than the governor and Democrats proposed – represents Bend in Central Oregon and serves as vice-chair of the Senate Education Committee.

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