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School board calls for increased state funding

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For the Keizertimes

A statewide campaign to improve education in Oregon won Salem-Keizer School Board approval Tuesday, Jan. 13.

The board approved the Promise of Oregon resolution, which recognizes the recent turnaround in state funding for schools, calls for further progress in funding, and supports improved curriculums and school facilities.

The resolution recognizes “unstable and inadequate funding that has resulted in thousands of teacher and staff layoffs, unacceptably large class sizes and one of the shortest school years in the country.”

It is part of the state’s 40-40-20 program, which has the goal of 40 percent of Oregonians holding bachelors’ degrees, 40 percent holding associate degrees or other meaningful post-secondary credentials and the remaining 20 percent having high school diplomas or GEDs (general education development certificates).

Also approved were grants totaling $212,642, most of it from the Oregon Department of Education. ODE has provided $125,000 to create a single online portal to manage a teacher-leader evaluation system, as well as $12,558 for two co-facilitators for the Oregon Mentor Project. The other grants are $55,000 from Early Learning Hub, Inc., for kindergarten readiness and $20,084 for after-school programs at Leslie and Walker middle schools.

Superintendent Christy Perry announced the hiring of Terry Gallagher as temporary principal of Wright Elementary School and Robert Silva as the district’s director of technology. Gallagher is a former principal of Lake Labish Elementary School and retired as principal of Kennedy Elementary School.

The board also approved personnel actions that included a teacher hire and two resignations in the McNary High School attendance area. Emma Winters was hired as a second-grade English for speakers of other languages teacher at Weddle Elementary School, Isaac Parker resigned as an advanced mathematics teacher and head football coach at McNary, and Amy Hiebert resigned as an English teacher at Claggett Creek Middle School.