REMARKS AS PREPARED
Governor Kate Brown
Oregon Student Success Act – HB 3427 Bill Signing
Monday, May 20, 2019
Good morning. Thank you Superintendent Perry for the introduction, and thank you for having us here today at Washington Elementary.
I am so proud to celebrate the signing of House Bill 3427, the Student Success Act. Today marks a turning point for education in Oregon. What we have come together to do over the past few months will be felt by students, teachers, and schools for years to come.
Last year, I visited with students and teachers here at Washington Elementary. As part of the visit, several students shared with me their dreams for the future, for their school, and for Oregon. I would like to read an excerpt from one of the letters I received from a student after I visited:
“I think everybody should get equal opportunity to be who and what they want to be. I also think that people who have goals should have the stuff they need to reach them. And even go further.”
I am proud to say that now -- as a result of the Student Success Act -- we can finally invest in an education system to empower every single student on the path to realizing their dreams for the future.
The Student Success Act provides a stable revenue source that allows us to expand opportunities in early education and make targeted investments in our K-12 schools so that all of our kids can graduate high school with a plan for the future and the tools to compete in a global economy.
Investing in education was one of my top priorities going into the Legislative session. For far too long, Oregon schools have been underfunded and faced with making cuts year after year. As a result, our schools do not have resources to give students the attention they need and deserve.
The Student Success Act will stem this trend by dedicating dollars toward targeted areas that will drive outcomes, including:
● Expanding high-quality preschool and helping children come to kindergarten ready to learn
● Resources for teachers to support students struggling with behavioral health issues and dollars to decrease class sizes
● Funding for a well-rounded education that prepares students for college or career with access to hands-on learning
Communities will be empowered to establish their own vision and a plan to use these dollars. And we all will be held accountable to ensure these new investments expand opportunity for every student, particularly our rural students, low-income students, and students in communities of color.
This feat would not have been possible without the hard work and perseverance of many people who are in this room today. I would like to especially thank the Joint Committee on Student Success, especially Chairs Roblan and Smith-Warner and Vice Chairs Knopp and Smith. By traveling around the state and listening to students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community leaders, you were able to craft legislation that will help all of our students succeed.
I also want to acknowledge the work of our educators, school and community leaders, and advocates for their tireless dedication throughout this process. You testified, you rallied, and you did not give up on this once-in-a lifetime opportunity to invest in our schools.
I now am honored to introduce the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Student Success, Senator Roblan and Representation Smith-Warner, to say a few words.
[Legislators Deliver Remarks]
We now will hear from a couple of local teachers about what these new dollars will mean for their classrooms. Welcome Sarah Ferguson-Manon from Waldo Middle school and Sharlee Blackwell from Chavez Elementary.
[Sarah and Sharlee Deliver Remarks]
Thank you, and let’s sign this bill!