Policy Action Alerts

Policy Updates

OregonASK will be sending out policy updates as part of our monthly newsletters, make sure to sign up for the updates you’d like. You may also find out more about OregonASK Policy work HERE

Archived Policy Update Emails:

Updates from Oregon Joint Committee on Student Success

Months of public hearings have led the Joint Interim Committee on Student Success to develop education policy recommendations that range from increased early childhood support and learning to dropout prevention and educator support.

The committee posted its work group policy recommendations early in November with funding recommendations before 2019 Oregon State Legislative Session begins. Current recommendations were issued from each of the 3 work groups listed below:

FY 2018 Update

The US House Appropriations Committee voted to pass a FY2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related Agencies (LHHS) spending bill that would fund the Department of Education at $66 billion, a cut of $2.4 billion from last year’s funding levels.

The House bill improved on the Trump Administration proposal by rejecting its short-sighted proposal to eliminate the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Program. The House took an important step forward by providing $1 billion in funding for the 21stCCLC. However, the bill still results in a $191 million cut from FY2017. Ultimately, the House bill falls short in providing the critical support needed to provide high-quality and evidence-based after-school programming for 1.6 million children in families in high-need communities across the country.

The House bill also rejects the Trump Administration proposal to cut Title I funding and eliminate AmeriCorps. The bill rightly level funds Title I and AmeriCorps. However, we remain extremely concerned that the bill eliminates the Title II-A program which provides more than $2 billion in support for evidence-based professional development for personnel serving students during and after the school day.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the new K-12 federal education law, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaces No Child Left Behind. ESSA was signed into law in 2015 and will be phased in over the next few years. The law aims to increase local input and flexible decision making based on what communities and states need.  Ensuring all students have access to a quality education—inside and outside the classroom—is one of ESSA’s key goals.

This new law provides tremendous opportunities to secure resources for afterschool and summer programs across Oregon. Download this ESSA One Page outline that summarizes the opportunities to support youth through afterschool, summer and informal STEM learning. Whether you are a parent, program provider or community advocate, see how the new ESSA act may impact you and how you can get engaged in the advocating for youth in your community.

Afterschool ESSA Talking Points helps outline some places for afterschool and summer programs to take advantage of the new law and help build foundational connections between formal and informal educators.

Informal STEM Resources: The STEM Education Coalition and the Afterschool Alliance have collaborated to develop a toolkit of materials to guide you through the steps of engaging with state and local policymakers. The toolkit provides you with the background information necessary to get started in asking your policymakers to take action. They’ve also included links to the formal guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education to state and local educators on how to apply for federal funds to support STEM education through the ESSA. Finally, there are also links to webinars and other in-depth materials about the new education law and what it means for you.

Oregon Department of Education ESSA Homepage has the latest updates on Oregon’s planning process for ESSA across the state, including opportunities for community members to get engaged.

A Parent’s Role in ESSA Implementation provided by the National PTA gives an overview of ESSA and an introduction to engaging parents and families in the implementation process. Watch a 1 hour webinar or download the slides for quick links and resources.

National Summer Learning Association has also put together information on Opportunities to Support Summer through ESSA.

Education Week’s video, ESSA Explained, provides a short overview of the new law, including what it says about teachers, assessment and school performance.

See what Federal Actions and Resources are being provided to states and stakeholders to help answer some of the FAQ’s about ESSA Implementation.

Check out this Afterschool Snack

Read more about federal policy updates from the Afterschool Alliance.

Interested in connecting with our state or national representatives?

Stay connected and share the importance of afterschool and summer with our elected officials. Use our Advocacy Toolkit to help you craft your message and share your personal story with those who represent you.

You can visit gov.track to find contact information for our US Senators and Representatives.

Or visit Oregon State Legislature to find your state senators and representatives.

Champion of Change

OregonASK Director, Beth Unverzagt, receives White House Award for Summer Learning

I was very surprised when I received a call and the young woman said “This is Stefani from the White House. Congratulations you have been selected as a Champion of Change.” I thought …what? The next day I received this email.
Congratulations you have been selected by The White House as a Champion of Change for Summer Opportunities
As part of the Champions of Change program, the White House recognizes every day Americans who are making positive changes in their communities. This month, we are recognizing individuals who are dedicating their time, talent and resources to strengthen and expand summer learning, meals and job opportunities for young people.
You were selected because of your tremendous work and leadership, and we will honor you at an event at The White House on February 26, 2016. You will have the opportunity to talk about your work and the challenges and opportunities you have encountered on a panel…In conjunction with the event, your biography and a blog post will also be featured on the White House website.
 I am so grateful that our work together is being recognized  by the White House. It has been and always will be a collaborative effort. Thank You, Beth Unverzagt.
View a recording of the event here.
Beth along with other Champions of Change.