oregon schools

Oregon should create an anonymous statewide tip line and a database of school floor plans. Those are some of the recommendations in a report released Wednesday by a task force on school safety.

Steve Burt / / FLICKR

Oregon no longer has the worst graduation rate of any state in the country, according to federal data out Monday. But the grad rate is still among the worst.

The Oregon Senate voted Thursday to lower the age that children have to enroll in school from age seven to age six.

Minority and economically disadvantaged 8th graders in Oregon are falling behind in the classroom. That's according to a new audit released Wednesday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office. It shows that students from those groups are often a year behind their peers in reading and math.

Half of the students at Ogden Middle School in Oregon City qualify for free or reduced lunches. That's a sign of the economic hardships many students face there. Principal Libby Miller says staff members have learned to keep an eye out for kids from struggling families.

A school district in Sweet Home, Ore., is considering whether to pull a book by Northwest author Sherman Alexie from junior high classrooms.

Union and Oregon University System Reach Agreement

Sep 26, 2013
Parker Knight / Flickr

The Oregon University System and its classified workers have reached a tentative agreement on a two year contract, averting a threatened strike on the first day of classes.

Oregon schools will get a sizeable increase in state funding after the Oregon House gave final approval to a spending plan for K-12 schools. Supporters say it will protect most districts from cuts.

When combined with a separate bill to cut public pensions, the education budget gives Oregon schools an additional $1 billion dollars to spend statewide. The plan had been tied up in a political showdown in the Senate but it passed the House by a wide margin.

Oregon lawmakers have ignored a threatened veto and approved a measure to relax a ban on Native American-themed school mascots. The Senate Monday gave final approval to the bill, which would allow school districts to keep their mascots if the nearest American Indian tribe agrees.

That would reverse a decision by the Oregon Board of Education to ban such mascots by 2017. Governor John Kitzhaber told legislative leaders he doesn't support the proposed change.

A major component of the Oregon budget is on the move in the legislature again. The Oregon Senate Wednesday signed off on the spending plan for K-12 schools. It comes one week after the same budget proposal failed.

Oregon schools get the bulk of their money through the legislature. This budget would represent a sizable boost over last time. But the proposal failed on the Senate floor last week when one Democrat joined with all of the Republicans to block it.

The largest portion of the Oregon state spending plan hit a major roadblock in the legislature Monday.