On February 15, the Oregon Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee unanimoulsy passed a reform (SB 254) that allows high school students to get a jump start on college credits and expenses by requiring school districts to provide or ensure access to accelerated college credit.  The bill now moves to the Ways and Means Committee for consideration.

Senate Bill 254 is the product of a higher education workgroup that was appointed last summer and led by Hass and Representative Tobias Read (D-Beaverton).   In order to allow dollars to be spent where they are needed most in our education system, kids who can move at a faster pace should be allowed to do so, saving both time and money.

The passage of SB 254 out of committee comes on the heels of positive hearings in the Senate around bills to give the Oregon University System more autonomy, and to make the State Superintendant an appointed position within the Governor’s office (sponsored by Senator Chris Edwards)-a critical component of Governor Kitzhaber’s education reform package.

Last week, the Senate also adopted the 40-40-20 education goals laid out in the Oregon Business Plan and embraced by Governor’s Kulongoski and Kitzhaber.  Combined with the Governor’s recent announcement of an education investment team to better align resources across the pk-20 system, Oregon kids can be happy that policymakers this session are serious about improving the delivery of education in Oregon.

Senator Mark Hass, Chair of the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee, and Senator Frank Morse, Vice Chair, have provided critical leadership on all of these efforts.

Read the Oregon Business Plan Education Initiative here.