The Oregon Education Investment Board is holding a series of seven community forums around Oregon “to engage all stakeholders in a discussion around education funding.” The Portland area hearing was held Thursday evening (10/18/12) at Marshall High School (now closed).
I mistakenly thought the hearing was to be a community forum on the recently released recommendations of the Education Funding Team. I had commented on those recommendations in two earlier blog posts (here, here). In the second blog post, I objected to funding proposed “Student Achievement Centers” (really teacher development and training centers) “until the training and support of foreign language immersion teachers is made a priority.” So I was at this community forum with four of my placards, including a new saying “Do Not Fund Teacher Training & Support Until Training Foreign Language Immersion Teachers Is a Priority’ (see photo).I stayed only for the first part of the hearing. I know the teachers’ unions can turn out passionate and articulate teachers to speak to their perceived need for additional educational funding. And they did, with others in the audience clapping and cheering. I, too, think education needs more funding, but only after some significant (to me) changes. In my time at this hearing, I did not hear such changes discussed. So, the event seemed more of a rally than a thoughtful hearing or discussion..