After a months-long listening tour across the state, the Joint Committee on Student Success released its final policy recommendations on Wednesday. The committee, convened by Oregon State Senate President Peter Courtney and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, outlined a number of recommendations which recognize the foundational importance of early childhood in supporting student success.
Most of the recommendations related to early learning came out of the Students Ready and Able to Learn Workgroup, one of three workgroups formed by the committee. These recommendations include:
- Expansion of home visiting programs
- Increased access to early childhood services such as Early Head Start and Relief Nurseries
- Full funding for Early Intervention (EI) and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services
- Support to build an integrated birth-to-5 system that supports children and families
- Expansion of state-subsidized preschool programs, particularly for families living at up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level
- Increased capacity of training and certification programs to support expansion of the early learning workforce
Though not specific to early childhood, the workgroup also called for increased access to behavioral and physical health and nutritional supports for students. The High-Quality Classrooms Workgroup of the committee also recognized the need for improvements in the recruitment and retention of educators, especially those from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds.
The committee’s recommendations echo many of the legislative recommendations made by Children’s Institute.
Governor Kate Brown has said that she plans to make significant investments in public education and would consider the committee’s recommendations as she works to secure funding in the upcoming legislative session.
Read the full report of the Joint Committee on Student Success.