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Oregon Charter School News Weekly

A weekly newsletter of Charter School happenings around Oregon and the Nation.
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2020 Legislative Session Update


2 weeks down and 3 to go! This week we passed our first deadline for the short legislative session. With some exceptions, if an introduced bill had not been voted out of committee by Thursday (2/13) it "died" and does not have a path forward. There are some exceptions. Bills that have been referred to a few special committees or to a Ways & Means Subcommittee are not subject to the same timelines and can continue to be amended. 

In education this week, an effort (SB 1572) to repeal the Essential Skills requirements that Oregon high school students must demonstrate in order to receive a high school diploma, and removes the State Board of Education’s authority to set graduation requirements statewide. ORC3S, along with many other education advocacy organizations, expressed concern about this bill. An issue of such importance needs serious thought, input from a wide range of stakeholders & experts, and thorough review. An amendment, which we support, has been adopted that will create a task force (comprised of an array of stakeholders) to assess this issue and present recommendations to ODE and the Legislature later in 2020. 

Outside of education issues, questions do remain about the ability of the Democrats to move forward with controversial cap & trade legislation. The Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources adopted an amendment to Senate Bill 1530 Thursday, before voting to move the bill. It will first go to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means and could come to the Senate floor by the middle of next week.
Protestors (both for and against the legislation) were out in full force this week, the capitol was alive with the sounds of chanting and semi horns throughout the week. 

Check back here for more updates from the Capitol next week!

Educator Resources

Programs, Policy, and Research
  • CNN recently hosted a Town Hall with presidential candidates. Following the Town Hall, the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools created "CNN Town Hall Fact Check: Correcting Senator Sanders on Charter Schools."  
     
  • In Education Week's teacher blog Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo, the author and award-winning teacher responds to the question: What are the best ways to respond to educators who say they "don't see race" when they teach? Click here to read the blog post, the first of a five-part series. 
      
  • Winter blues? In need of a little inspiration to get you through the second half of the year? Check out this list of teacher-recommended books.
     
  • Jennifer Rowe, Executive Director of Educational Equity for Indian Prairie School District in Illinois, shares about her school district's participation Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action and development and design of a Black Lives Matter at School Workshop. "The most important first step is to build the community and strategy to understand what we all must do to better teach and support Black children. When we make space for the lives of Black children, we are helping to create a learning environment that is truly better for all children." Click here to read more and download resources. 
     
Events and Workshops

School Opportunities
  • Grant Opportunity: LISC Spark Opportunity Facilities Grant Program
    Applications are open for the second round of the Spark Opportunity Grant Program run by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Spark Opportunity Grants provide charter schools predevelopment grants of $15,000 - $50,000 to support planning for new school facilities on a competitive basis. For more information, sign up for the Spark Opportunity Grants mailing listApplications are due by February 28, 2020.
     
  • Funding Opportunities for Early Learning 
    The Early Learning Division is now accepting applications to expand culturally specific early learning programs and infant, toddler, and preschool education programs. Consider applying for funds to become a Preschool Promise provider. Preschool Promise leverages high-quality, local and culturally-relevant early child care and education programs and makes them available to children living at 200 percent of the poverty level. For more information on the Request for Applications (RFA), visit oregonearlylearning.com/student-success-act. The deadline is to apply is April 2, 2020. 
     
  • Exemplary Therapist Awards
    Each year at the TIES Conference, Oregon therapists are recognized for their outstanding achievements in the provision of education-based therapy services. Click here for award descriptions and directions to nominate a colleague from your charter school. Deadline is March 20, 2020. 
     
  • Steven R. Nelson Native Educator Scholarship Program
    Apply for Education Northwest's Steven R. Nelson Native Educator Scholarship! This scholarship program strives to increase Native representation in the field of education by providing financial support, mentoring, and internships for Native students in the Northwest who are pursuing a master’s degree in education policy, leadership, technical assistance, research, or a closely related field. The application deadline is March 31. Click here for eligibility requirements and application procedure. 
     
Student Resources and Opportunities 
  • Safe Routes in All Weather Photo Contest
    Encourage your charter school students to enter the Safe Routes to School Partnership photo contest. Enter the photo contest by snapping a photo walking, rolling, and being active in your community! To learn more about the contest categories and how to enter, click hereThe deadline to submit photos is February 28.
     
  • National Endowment of the Arts: Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge
    The National Endowment for the Arts and the American Theatre Wing opened applications for the 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for high school students who have a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production. Musical theater encompasses a wide range of musical styles including hip-hop, rock, R&B, country, jazz, and more. The 2020 application portal is open until March 6, 2020. For more information, visit arts.gov/national-initiatives/songwriting
     
  • 2020 Prom Challenge
    Prom Challenge is a new program created in partnership between When We All Vote and MTV’s +1thevote campaign, with support from Rent the Runway and other brands, to celebrate and recognize 20 high schools across the country integrating voter registration into their schools in the most creative and impactful ways. Application deadline is March 13, 2020. Click here for more information. 
Oregon Charter Schools in the News

Here are a few headlines from the past week

Is your school a member of ORC3S yet? 
 
We are a coalition of community-based, public charter schools representing all corners of our state. Although, we are all unique in our pedagogy and practice, what unites us is our commitment to educational innovation and to high-quality schools for all students. Our mission is to provide a voice and sustainable support and guidance for the members of our coalition.
Join us now!
Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools
www.orc3s.org
13809 SE Division St Ste A
Portland, OR 97236


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Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools · 13809 SE Division St Ste A · Portland, OR 97236-2843 · USA

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