Piggy Bank With Graduation Cap

Oregon auditors published a deeper look into how state education money was spent in 2019. The verdict: Disappointing times three.

The Oregon Department of Education “does relatively little to support and monitor efficient district spending. ODE does not adequately evaluate whether grants and other initiatives improve student performance. ODE’s limited enforcement of district standards, short-lived improvement initiatives, and a disjointed education funding system increase risks that Oregon student performance will continue to lag.”

This week the state auditors from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office went back and looked at the state’s progress. The verdict: Some progress. A lot more work must be done.

For instance, the department “has made limited progress on measuring the results of Title I school improvement programs and no progress reporting those results, a significant obstacle to closing Oregon’s equity gaps in student performance by income level and race and ethnicity.”

For a state with a governor who continually talks about equity in schools, for a state with many school boards that talk about equity in schools, that’s failure. Whether you think the state’s actions on equity are right or if you think they are misdirected, Oregon is not making adequate progress.

Will our state lawmakers hold the Department of Education accountable?

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