Submitted written testimony:
To: Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education
From: Dave Porter
Subject: State School Fund and high school study abroad
There needs to be a statute or administrative rule that clearly states:
"For the purpose of calculating Average Daily Membership (ADM) used in the distribution of State School Funds, a school district may count high school students studying abroad on programs approved and paid for by the school district."
In 2014-15 (the latest data online, ODE report #51), the “Operating Expenditures per Student” in Oregon was $10,342. The range is from a high of $77,701 per student (just 2) in the Double O School District in Harney County to a low of $7,397 in the Scio School District in Linn County. Portland Public Schools spent $12,618. Portland Public Schools (and many other districts) could save money (and reallocate it) by paying to send some high school students to study abroad for a year. Portland Public Schools should be able to do this without losing State School Funding for the students they send abroad.
For example, consider the chart of the fees of the study abroad organization ASSE.. There is an additional $250 application fee and a 10% discount for early payments. All fees cover tuition and living expenses with a family. Most fees (not to Mexico or Canada) cover international airfare.
ASSE was established in 1976 as the American Scandinavian Student Exchange by the Swedish Government to organize student exchange programs between Sweden and the United States. Soon Denmark, Norway and Finland elected to participate. It has grown a lot since then.
At present, ASSE works closely with the Canadian provincial ministries of education. It maintains 38 offices in 31 countries and accommodates more than 30,000 high school age students and host families annually in its programs in the participating countries.