The Oregon Education Investment Board's Outcomes and Investment Subcommittee met on 8/21/14 at Portland State University. They are considering possible funding options to recommend for Oregon's 2015-17 budget. During the meeting, there were brief discussions of the need for "international education" as a funding category similar to STEM. In the public comment time at the end of the meeting, I read and distributed copies of the following statement:
In public testimony at June and July meetings of this subcommittee, I presented the following series of small funding proposals: (1) fund more Spanish dual language immersion programs, (2) provide $100,000 each for four additional Mandarin dual language immersion start up progams across Oregon ($400,000 total), (3) provide $10,000 each to pay for ten Oregon high school students each academic year (2015-16, 2016-17) to study abroad in China ($200,000 total), (4) that the Higher Education Coordinating Commission's proposal for outcomes-based allocations formulas include significant additional funding weights for schools of education that graduate students with the skills and credentials to be dual language immersion teachers in Oregon, and (5) that additional tuition and stipends be targeted to students preparing to become Spanish dual language immersion teachers.
None of these funding proposals were before this committee today. I do not know why not. Perhaps it was just a processing oversight. But I do not think so. I think it reflects the continuing failure of the Oregon education community to recognize that we live in an era of radical global changes and that we need to adapt our educational system to prepare our next generations for these new global challenges. Foremost among these new global challenges is the rise in importance of China across all dimensions - economic, environmental, cultural, geo-political and national security. I think future historians will not treat kindly current leaders, such as yourselves, who, lacking strategic vision, failed to increase the numbers of students learning Mandarin and studying aboard in China.
Let me say, with personal respect for each of you, that you had an opportunity to make a difference today. I think you failed to do so, that you failed on the record, and that you failed big time.