Every Portland Public Schools high school student should have the opportunity to spend a high school year studying abroad paid for by PPS as a part of their public education program. High school study abroad should not just be for the wealthy who can afford it. In your 2018-19 budget, please allocate funds to send several students abroad as a pilot program.
Extending study abroad opportunities to all PPS students does not require more revenues or more spending, just a shift in what PPS spends money on. Instead of spending money for students located in high schools in PPS, PPS could spend money on our students in high schools abroad.
There are current study abroad organizations that offer high school years abroad for less than current PPS per student expenditures. From the Oregon Report Card, PPS spent $13,986 per pupil in 2016-17.
For example, here are the 2017-18 fees for the study aboard organization ASSE. Most are significantly less than $13,986.
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. 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.
Program fees include: Round trip international airfare from New York to Europe and South Africa, from Miami to Brazil and Argentina, from Los Angeles to Asia/Pacific. Summer and Year programs between USA, Canada, and Mexico exclude airfare.
Fees also include comprehensive health, accidental death and travel insurance, host family recruitment and screening, non-English speaking country language training, and orientation.
Program fees exclude: domestic travel from home to international gateway city (special "youth fares" available upon request), passport and visa fees, school uniforms (if required), educational/recreational overnight field trips, school lunch money (if necessary), and pocket money. Plus, all candidates for acceptance in the ASSE Exchange Program must complete an application form and pay a Preliminary Application Fee of $250.