Policy Update
The Oregon Legislative session has come to a close, while decisions at the federal level are still being made. Thank you for staying engaged over the past months- your voices matter and we appreciate all the efforts you have made to help advocate on behalf of Oregon youth and families! We encourage you to keep speaking out for aftershool and summer on a national level, and to keep building relationships with your state representatives outside of the legislative session.

The OregonASK policy updates will be changing to a monthly rather than weekly distribution following this week. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more frequent updates about the important things happening in our state and nation! 
Oregon Legislative Session Over
The Oregon legislature came to a close on Friday, July 8th, ending a session that was full of hard decisions and little funding. In order to achieve needed cost containment the legislature cut both tax expenditures and existing programs, while passing a package of bills that will ensure Oregonians retain access to health care. State leaders are calling for budget reform as they look to the 2019 session. 

While the overall picture is one of budget cuts, here are some of the wins for Oregon's kids that we wanted to highlight:
  • New and increased funding is dedicated to:
    • Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Program
    • Train educators on detecting dyslexia
    • The African American Education Plan Program
    • Chronic absenteeism
    • Trauma-informed practices
    • The creation of a Native American curriculum for school districts.
  • Senate Bill 558 Cover All Kids was signed into law, making Oregon the seventh state in the nation to provide health insurance coverage to 100% of children. This bipartisan effort will lead to 17,000 kids in Oregon having access to health insurance.
  • The Farm to School Grant Program was appropriated $4.5 million
  • The legislature ended the practice of "school meal shaming" in Oregon by ensuring that no student should be deprived a meal or be issued a stigmatizing hand stamp if they don't have lunch money.

Federal Budget Update

The House Appropriations Subcommittee marked up the FY2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Bill. The bill will set funding levels for federal education programs including 21st CCLC. Some of the details are below.
  • The draft bill calls for a $2.4 billion reduction in funding for the Education Department- amounting to a 3.5% cut in discretionary spending on education, as opposed to the 13% reduction called for by the Trump administration
  • The draft bill includes a proposed cut of almost $200 million to 21st CCLC, putting 200,000 children at risk of losing access to quality afterschool programming. 
  • The draft bill funds Title I at $15.9 billion, roughly the same spending level as 2018
  • The draft bill eliminates $ 2 billion in Title II funding that supports teacher and administrator preparation 
  • The draft bill does not include the Trump administrations proposed $250 million for expanding and studying school choice vouchers

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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