Oregon Charter School News Weekly

A bi-weekly newsletter of Charter School happenings
around Oregon and the Nation.
And, we’re off...the 2022 short legislative session started on February 1st with a lot less of a bang than, at least I, had expected. The Capitol building is open to the public, as it has been since July 2021, but seismic retrofitting construction is still underway (work that has been planned since 2017) and combined that COVID precautions mens the building remains extremely quiet. (But do be prepared for newly installed metal detectors should you venture in this session.)

Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean drama is absent. This week’s session start saw 2 brand new legislators: Rep. Travis Nelson, from HD 44 former Rep. Kotek’s seat, and Rep. Nathan Sosa, from HD 30 former Rep. Sollman’s seat. They join 4 other new House members and 3 new Senate members: Rep. Jessica George (R - HD 25); Rep. Christine Goodwin (R - HD 2); Rep. Chris Hoy (D - HD 21); Rep. Anna Scharf (R - HD 23) and; Sen. Rachel Armitage (D - SD 16); Sen. Janeen Sollman (D - SD 15); Sen Akasha Lawrence Spence (D - SD 18). 

As it relates to Charter school, or general K-12 education, legislation there are a handful of bills we will be tracking this session. Those are: 
  • Ethnic Studies Professional Development (HB 4112): Requesting $12.5 million to fund professional development through ODE's Educator Advancement Council, to prepare teachers to uphold the state's new ethnic studies standards. 
  • Racial Equity and Justice Youth Collaborative Bill (HB 4099)Creates a state-level Racial Equity and Justice Youth Collaborative to i) support diverse youth leaders in the policy-making process at the state level; ii) ensure that youth — particularly youth who have been historically, and currently underrepresented or underserved — are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of the policies and practices that impact their lives.
  • Funding Stability for Wildfire Impacted Districts Bill (HB 4026): Ensures stable State School Fund, Student Investment Account, and High School Success funding over the next four years for districts most impacted by the 2020 wildfires (Phoenix-Talent, McKenzie, Santiam Canyon, and Lincoln County).
  • Board and Superintendent Professional Learning Bill (HB 4029): Requires and improves access to quality professional learning and training around educational equity and governance for board members and superintendents that is on-going, meaningful, and action-oriented.
Check back next week for more legislative session updates!
New resources on weighted lotteries are now available on the ORC3S Member Portal!
Weighted lotteries benefit Oregon charter schools by helping charter schools increase the diversity of their student bodies. Historically underserved students will experience more equitable access to these rich educational opportunities and all students will experience a richer learning environment. And, according to the Century Foundation, such learning environments lead to stronger academic outcomes.

Previous Oregon Charter School enrollment law only allowed schools to give priority for admission to students who have enrolled siblings. A new law, passed in 2021 by ORC3S (and championed by Rep. Susan McLain) allows public charter schools to implement a weighted lottery that provides a system of enrollment preference for:
  • Historically underserved students (defined as students at risk because of race, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, income level, proficiency in the English language, socioeconomic status, or geographic location.)
  • Children participating in a publicly funded or free preschool program operated by the public charter school
  • Students who are at risk (defined as students from economically disadvantaged families; identified as having special educational needs; are limited in proficiency in the English language; are at risk of dropping out of high school; or do not meet minimum standards of academic proficiency)

Learn more about weighted lotteries and access resources on our member portal! The ORC3S Member Portal is a password-protected section of the ORC3S website where we will host a variety of resources & tools that ORC3S member schools can access anytime they want.

Not a member? Click here to learn more about membership and apply today!

Weighted Lottery Resources
More Schools, Community Organizations Sought for Summer Food Service Program
The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is seeking more schools, community organizations and tribes to participate in the Summer Food Service Program  (SFSP) this summer to ensure children 18 and younger, who benefit from meal programs during the school year, continue to have that same access to nutritious meals when schools are closed, or students are unable to attend school in person.

“Access to summer meals is an important way to ensure that children continue to receive the nutrition they need, to learn and grow, when school is not in session,” ODE Summer Meals Outreach Coordinator Cathy Brock said. "It is important to expand the program and close the hunger gap in all areas of the state, and ODE’s Child Nutrition Program is reaching out to ensure that children continue to receive meals throughout the summer."

For information about how to apply for the Summer Food Service Program, please contact ode.communitynutrition@ode.oregon.govThe deadline to submit an application to become a Summer Food Service Sponsor is May 13, 2022. 

ODE has state grant funds available up to $20,000 per sponsor to expand or start up summer meal programs.  For more information on grant funds, please email Kaitlin Skreen or call (503) 947-5901.

Learn more
School Opportunities and Resources

Grant Opportunity: Office of Indian Education Formula Grants to Local Educational Agencies
Applications are now open for new awards for fiscal year 2022 for Office of Indian Education (OIE) Formula Grants to Local Educational Agencies. OIE Formula Grants support local educational agencies (LEAs), Indian Tribes and organizations, and other eligible entities in developing and implementing elementary and secondary school programs that serve Indian students. Certain LEAs, including charter schools that are their own LEAs, are eligible to apply alone or as a consortium of two or more eligible entities.
Part I of the Electronic Application System for Indian Education (EASIE) is due March 11 and Part II is due May 13. Applicants must meet the deadlines for both EASIE Part I and Part II to be eligible to receive a grant.

National Charter School Resource Center Funding Opportunity Database
The database includes one-time and ongoing grants, fellowships, prizes, and scholarships. Sponsors include the U.S. Federal Government and philanthropic organizations. The page is updated frequently as charter school funding opportunities are announced. Click here to view the database and search for funding opportunities.

Upcoming Events

Programs, Policy, and Research

Federal Update: All ARP ESSER Funds Approved and Distributed
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced every American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) plan had been approved and that all $122 billion of ARP ESSER funds had been distributed. The press release includes a roundup of useful resources on safe school operations, addressing lost instructional time, and supporting educators as well as fact sheets on each state’s ARP ESSER plan.

Call for Comment: Updates for Full-Service Community Schools Program
The U.S. Department of Education proposes new priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for the Full-Service Community Schools Program, which connects community schools to vital resources that can help them thrive and promote student success. Final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria may be used for competitions in Fiscal Year 2022 and beyond. Stakeholders are invited to submit comments by February 11. 

Register Now: 2022 National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, DC
Registration launched last week for the 2022 National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C., June 19-22. The National Alliance is committed to hosting a safe and rewarding event to make up for the time we’ve lost together, but space is limited. Join them where the movement meets. Click here to learn more.

Should Facility Sharing Be the Law?
new blog post from the Charter School Facility Center at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools reviews the different statutory schemes in place across the nation and the impact they are having on access to school buildings. The initial findings show a clear relationship between states that address district facility access in legislation and higher levels of charter schools in district facilities. Take a look to see data from the states

2022 Charter School Model Law Rankings
Last week, the National Alliance released the 13th annual charter school model law rankings report. The change in states’ rankings indicates the efforts of lawmakers and leaders who are listening to families and delivering on the promise of high-quality public education for all by creating and strengthening charter schools laws across the country. See how various states performed this year!

New Report on How Charter Schools Improve Outcomes for Students in Metro Areas
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is out with a new report that analyzes two decades of data to understand how the presence of public charter schools in a metro area impacts student achievement—both in district and charter schools across America. One of the report’s major findings: “On average, increases in Black and Hispanic charter school enrollment share are associated with sizable increases in the average math achievement of these student groups, especially in large metro areas.”

Charter Schools in the News

Here are a few local headlines from the past few weeks:

Butte Falls Charter School to resume in-person learning, Mail Tribune

Opinion: Oregon should expand choices to help all students, Portland Tribune

Column: Tech-focused charter school comes to the Portland, The Business Journals

Howard Street Charter students make art for unsheltered neighbors in Salem's Pallet homes, Statesman Journal

Here are a few national headlines from the past few weeks:

As We Enter Year 3 of COVID, Learning is Everywhere this National School Choice Week. But Yes, We Need to Keep Talking About ‘School Choice’ , The Seventy Four

Parents Are Opting for Charter, Home School as COVID Pushes Kids Out of Public Classrooms, Newsweek

Creating Great School Options Isn’t Just a Priority — It’s Our Mission to the Moon. We Must Tackle It with the Seriousness of Rocket Scientists, The Seventy Four

For Too Many Charter School Families, Getting to School Is a Struggle, Reason

The Biggest Education Innovation Is Growing Use of School Choice, Reason

School Choice Week Must Be A Catalyst For Salvaging Our Education System, Progressive Policy Institute
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
13809 SE Division St Ste A
Portland, OR 97236

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools · 13809 SE Division St Ste A · Portland, OR 97236-2843 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp