PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Governor Kate Brown is continuing a push to extend Oregon’s K12 schoolyear to national standards.
In November, Gov. Brown released a 23.6-billion-dollar budget proposal which would include 2 billion dollars for an education investment plan, with that money going toward shrinking class sizes, providing educators with additional support, and much more.
But, at the time, Gov. Brown also proposed lengthening the school year to the national standard of 180 days arguing that it could increase the statewide graduation rate and student performance.
But, the Oregon Department of Education recently published a report that seems to disprove that theory.
The report states, “The data does challenge an assumption that a longer school year alone, if it does not result in additional instructional hours that are used effectively, is correlated with improved graduation rates.
And, many told FOX 12, they are opposed to lengthening the school year.
“I kind of like of like my summer, so I don’t really think it’s okay to cut into it like that,” said Lincoln High School student, Jackson Posey.
Some parents and administrators say, lawmakers should instead focus on tackling more important issues, contributing to Oregon’s education woes.
Cheryl Langford, whose son is a sophomore at Lincoln High School, said she would like to see legislators “making the quality of the school better, instead of the quantity.”
Right now, Oregon only requires 900 instructional hours at the elementary and middle school level, and 990 hours for more high schoolers.
Portland Public Schools said, its calendar year is currently 173 days long, a week short of the national benchmark. To extend the year an additional seven days, it would cost the district 16.1 million dollars, according to the director of strategic communications for PPS, Harry Esteve.
According to him, “We appreciate the goal of extending the amount of time students are in class, but we want to be sure that we have the resources to make each day a great day for students.”
Many district leaders statewide share his concern. Esteve told FOX 12 the benefit of additional funding may be negated by the stipulation that districts have to extend the school year, costing each millions.
Still, there are some districts that support adding more days to the school-year.
Beaverton School District, which already maintains a 184-day school year, sent FOX 12 the following statement, saying in part: “We have prioritized adding days because we know it makes a difference with student learning. In particular, we also know that from an equity standpoint, some underserved student groups would certainly benefit.”
There are even some students who say they could see the perks of a longer school year.
“Maybe if we got more time in class we could do less homework. Have more free time outside of school,” Lincoln High School junior Ethan Stein said.
The proposal is still pending. The Oregon legislature still has until July of 2019 to approve the budget.
When FOX 12 asked the governor’s office who would pay for the 2 billion-dollar education investment plan included in the budget, a spokeswoman sent us this response:
“The Governor is working with the Legislature, the business community and stakeholders to fund the investment plan. It’s still in the preliminary stages.”
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