Policy Update
At this critical political point both nationally and in our state, it is more important than ever for all of us to tell our legislators why afterschool matters. We invite you to join us in sharing with our local and national representatives how afterschool makes a difference for youth in our communities. 
Budget & Revenue State Update

With the end of session nearly in site, final budgets are beginning to near completion.  An $8.2 billion state school fund has passed through one chamber, while the Oregon Health Authority's budget passed through its Ways & Means subcommittee. Budgets funding early childhood and many others still await. As these critical budgets for Oregon's children move forward, the common refrain from legislators of both parties - we wish there were more funds.

To that note,  the three major revenue packages are holding hearings.  The new Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) now has a bill - HB 2830. The proposal will delay implantation of the new tax until 2019. In the short-term, a "bridge" will raise corporate income taxes before their complete removal when a CAT is implemented. Expect extensive discussion this coming week.  The transportation package (HB 2017) had three public hearings this past week, with more discussions to come. The Provider Assessment (HB 2391) passed through Ways & Means Human Services and may be voted on in Ways and Means before Friday. 
2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book Shows Positive Trends and Room for Improvement in Child Well-Being in Oregon

According to the 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Oregon is in the bottom half of all states in overall child well-being, ranked at 30th nationally. The KIDS COUNT Data Book is an annual publication that measures, over time, key indicators of child well-being nationally and on a state-by-state basis. This year's Data Book shows that over the past six years, Oregon's economic, health, and community rankings have improved, but too many children still are not getting what they need.

Read more and download the KIDS COUNT Data Book Here.
 National Update: 
Education Secretary DeVos testified in front of a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee last week on the White House 2018 budget proposal, having previously testified before a house subcommittee on the same topic. Both hearings were politically charged, and highly partisan. Senators clashed with DeVos about the federal role in protecting students from discrimination, whether federal laws would apply to students who used vouchers to attend private schools and about cuts to federal grant and loans programs. DeVos responded to inquiries with well rehearsed lines, such as "if schools are taking federal funds, they need to follow federal laws" and often refused to elaborate. Two programs both republican and democrats advocated for are 21st CCLC and the Perkins Career and Technical Education program.
Two programs both republican and democrats advocated for are 21st CCLC and the Perkins Career and Technical Education program. In response to questions on 21st CCLCd, DeVos stuck to the White House's current line, saying the program lacked evidence that it was effective. We know this to be false, and the Senators do to, replying that the evidence base is there. Read about STEM Ready America below, for the facts on why and how afterschool works.

As we continue to build awareness and contribute to the STEM Learning Ecosystem, it is important that we are equipped with knowledge and resources that can help reinforce our case.  STEM Ready America  is a compendium of 40 articles presenting bold and persuasive evidence on how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) knowledge and skills are preparing young people to be successful in school today and the workforce tomorrow.

CLICK HERE  to read the Compendium.
Staying Up to Date with State Policy

We know how important it is to stay up-to-date on current state legislation and encourage those of you who are interested to know more about the happenings in Salem, you can follow bills directly from the  Oregon State Legislature  or contact  James Barta  to get weekly updates from Children First about a plethora of child related issues.  
Take Individual Action

You can make a difference. Call on congress to protect funding for afterschool and summer learning programs. Need help finding your legislators?  Click HERE .
Need talking points to support your own stories of afterschool?  HERE  is evidence showing that Afterschool Works. 
Thank you for your support of afterschool in Oregon and across the nation.

Beth Unverzagt, Executive Director

OregonASK is a collaboration of public and private organizations and community members which seek to address common-issues and concerns across all out-of-school time services- child care, recreation, education and youth development.

(503)689-1656 | general@oregonask.org | www.oregonask.org
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