SKCE Executive Director testimony at the Oregon Education Investment Board meeting

We are coming close to the Oregon 2015 Legislative Session. One issue being brought before the Legislature is a proposal to change the ELL funding formula and accountability measures. The Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality has advocated for these changes for 14 years. Since 1992, districts have received a weight of 0.5 in additional funding, currently about $3,725, per ELL student. But accountability measures were never built in to the policy.

Some districts spend 100% of the funds on ELL programs. Other districts spend less than 50%. The money goes into the general fund to be used as districts wish. There is no maximum number of years the district can receive the weighted funding for each ELL student so there is no incentive to “graduate” students out of ELL programs.

Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton has submitted a proposal to OEIB to reform the way Oregon allocates ELL funding. The key elements of this proposal are:

• Increase the ELL weight from 0.5 to 0.6
• Limit funding from 4 years up to 7 years according to student levels of proficiency
• Hold districts accountable to spend 90% of the ELL funds on ELL services
• Give districts an incentive: a bonus of $250 for every current or former ELL student who graduates from that district

Another issue being brought to the Legislature concerns the way ODE funds community organizations. Generally, community organizations have a difficult time raising enough education funding to do the critical work they do with disadvantaged children in order to raise their achievement. Research shows that it takes the combined efforts of the community, the school and the family to ensure a child succeeds, especially when that child is part of an underserved population.

In addition, underserved populations need organizations with special skills gained by being part of the culture of those they serve. These are called culturally specific organizations, and we are one of these. We are part of the community we serve and no one knows the community better than the community itself. We can bring solutions that don’t fit a generic methodology. Our solutions are culturally relevant and uniquely tailored to those we serve.

We strongly encourage the Oregon Department of Education to eliminate the disparities our children face in education and part of that work is to eliminate the disparities that our culturally specific organizations face in receiving funding from ODE.

 

Parents and Youth Skill Building Conference

rickpuentes

Together, we can accomplish this school year with success!

The Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality has been working with Roberts High School with the High School Graduation Initiative grant. The coalition uses the strategy of preparing parents and youth together in order to reach their goals and succeed in school. Fathers and Mothers are the most important people in the world to encourage and support their teenage children as they prepare for higher education and their future life.

This summer program ended in September with the Skill Building Conference for Parents and Youth, held at McKay High School. Forty parents and twenty youth attended on Saturday the 27th. They were able to choose from two workshops—The Importance of Knowing our Culture” or “How to Influence our Children Positively.”

The guest speaker, Rick Puente, is a Juvenile Detective in the Woodburn Police Department. Rick was born in Oregon, attended school in Salem-Keizer, and graduated from McNary High School. He attended Chemeketa Community College and studied business and criminal justice. His focus has been in prevention and intervention of drugs, gangs and other problems that our youth face today. He talked to parents about the things they can do and strategies they can use to motivate their sons and daughters to improve their behavior and have success in school. The conference offered informational workshops and resources.

Detective Puente talked about his father, who has been blind his whole life, and who has taught him strong values and demanded respect. The most important value he learned from his father is honesty, and he wants parents to teach and expect these values from their children.

 

SKCE featured at United Way MWV Campaign Kick-off celebration

Many thanks to the United Way MWV and to Randy Frank and Arturo Vargas for featuring SKCE at their Campaign Kick-off Celebration. United Way supported SKCE’s new parent-led literacy program, Leyendo Avanzamos/Reading Together We Advance, in the funding cycle of 2010-2012 and 2013-2015, to develop partners and expand the program to more schools.

Four Corners Elementary, with Principal Phil Decker, piloted the program for the first year, and Cesar Chavez Elementary, with Principal Olga Cobb, and Scott Elementary, with Principal Dave Bertholf, joined in the pilot for the second and third years. Now in its fourth year, Leyendo Avanzamos has added Hallman Elementary, with Principal Jen Vanslander.

Everyone is excited about the potential of the program to make a major impact on the generation of children that will be expected to pass higher common core standards and will be the first graduating cohort in 2025, with the goal of Governor Kitzhauber, 40-40-20: that’s 40% graduating with a four year degree, 40% graduating with a two year degree or career skills equivalent, and 20% graduating from high school.

National Night Out at Northgate Park in NE Salem

Come join us at the Northgate Park to celebrate our National Night Out gathering Saturday, August 9th at 11:00AM-4:00PM

FREE * FREE

  • Hot dogs & Water
  • Bouncy houses
  • Entertainment for everyone
  • Face painting
  • Games
  • Cotton Candy
  • Snow cones

For more information please call SKCE at 503-363-8130

See you there!

Download (PDF, 308KB)

 

Congratulations to our Forest Grove/Cornelius parents

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Parents from Forest Grove/Cornelius celebrated their graduation for attending all “Educa e Inspira” workshops throughout the school year.

“Parents loved every workshop, they felt empowered to ask questions about their children’s education” -Maria Mendoza, SKCE Parenting and Early Learning Programs Coordinator

2014 Regional Mock Trial Competition, Albany OR

Here’s a couple of videos about our recent Regional Mock Trail Completion in Albany, OR. The competition was held at the Linn Courthouse on March 1st, 2014.

Salem Team Participants:

  • Benjamin Martinez
  • Moises Mendoza
  • Gina Benavides
  • Stephanie Azcue
  • Jorge Garcia
  • Erick Mendoza
  • Sam Mcgee
  • Katie Hill
  • Blanca Arredondo
  • Lorena Ambrocio

Keizer Team Participants:

  • Dakota Easbey
  • Rosario Vargas
  • Martina Hernandez
  • Michele Fahlman
  • Valeria Jacome
  • Adriana Escorcia
  • Diana Jacome
  • Kevin Morales