Our Education

The Problem

Education in our state has been in disrepair for years.  In Oregon, we fail to graduate 1 in 4 kids, which earns us an unimpressive 48th rank in the nation. In this district, it is even worse. Central High School has a graduation rate below the state average – 73.2%, West Salem is worse at – 72%. This is unacceptable. For someone who is wanting to start a family, this is not encouraging. We must give our future generations a high-quality education for the 21st-century economy.

We cannot allow unfunded mandates to plague our local schools with mediocrity. We must use the funds we have efficiently. We must return the power to local school boards to do what is best for the future leaders of this country and its economy.

Not only this but if they are lucky to graduate, they are sent into a debt trap. Since 1971, college tuition has increased almost threefold, while take-home pay has stayed stagnate. I personally hold thousands of dollars, of the $1.5 trillion nationwide, in student loans, which has kept me from becoming a homeowner. We are setting our future generations up for failure.

As a legislature, I would propose a pay it forwards initiative that would provide students with two years of paid tuition, for every one year of volunteer work they do for the state government, up to four years. This would reduce government payrolls and provide a way out of the debt trap that is college.

K-12 Waiver Transfer Plan

hen I think vouchers, I think OSAA sports, where scholarships can be given out, where the best of the best are plucked away. 

Any transfer must wait a year before they can join a sports team. If any coach, parent, or school faculty / staff are found to do any form of recruiting in sports, the entire school shall be banned from all OSAA events until said person is no longer involved with the school. Said person, and family are banned from OSAA activities for 5 years minimum. 

Each school district shall be given a base amount of money per student living in the school district, those with special needs shall receive more. Each student shall be given a transfer waiver amount of $7500, will be more for special needs students. 

Those waiver transfers can be transferred at full value to any private school, the parent must pay for any difference, and for transportation. Should the parent wish to transfer the kid to a public school, a population density chart shall determine the amount of the waiver based on distance going away from home school district. 

The farther you get away from your home district, the less your waiver becomes. Parents will need to pay the difference and transportation. So those in Portland cannot transfer as far as those say in Dayton (Distance).  

We can even make it so those students in more financial stress e.g. low income families have a higher waiver value and distance. Of course, this then brings up the argument that it would allow more children to flee a lower income school, it could hurt the school. So there’s more work that needs to be done there. Hence me reaching out and talking to unions, OEA, school boards. 

With low income areas the idea would be to have the first half of the radius of population density v waiver amount, decrease less; the second half of the radius population density v waiver amount would decrease faster. 

When it comes to private schools, an OSAA ruling, dated back to 2014 limiting the maximum amount a school can offer in scholarships, will be overturned. Once again allowing private schools, the ability to offer scholarships.  

School Safety

The idea to put a veteran in every school. Each veteran will carry a sidearm, and have access to a locker with more tactical weaponry hidden and secured in the school. Each veteran will not be in a uniform, and during class hours, will roam school helping where needed. 

We will establish an interview system and background check to determine if veterans have PTSD, and would be safe in a school, or what size of school they might be safe to work in.  

1251 Public Schools in Oregon 

~70k per veteran for gear, insurance, pay 

~88 million in cost 

State wasted ~88 million misspent in 2017 alone (if not more), by closing gaps, and properly managing resources becomes budget neutral 

Matching funds potentially made available from VA and other federal funding opportunities 

Work with NPO groups to help recruit veterans 

Creates 1000+ veteran jobs 

Higher Ed Solution

For Would-Be Students: 

  • Create a “Pay it Forward” program, that would allow would-be college students, to work for their education. Taking ideas from our military and peace corp. 
  • These students would “volunteer” with state and local governments, at entry level positions and would receive a $10,000 a year stipend. 
  • For every year “volunteered” these future students would get two years of tuition paid for. 
  • Average public-university tuition across the 7 state universities at 15 credit hours. 
  • Money is available for 5 years, after which money is considered forfeit.  
  • Students may volunteer up to 2 years and may receive tuition for up to 4 years. 
  • Shall be on a first come first serve basis. 
  • The average cost of entry-level state worker is $35,000 to $45,000. Average cost over 3 years to state is $30,000, saving the state $5,000 to $15,000 a student. 
  • A minimum of 30% of new logging revenues shall fund this program. 

For Graduates: 

  • Allow full write off of all tuition payments throughout the year on public loans, and half write-off on private loans. 
  • Create a business tax credit that helps businesses pay employees student loans. 
  • Small businesses shall receive a higher tax credit e.g. a small business paying $100 a month to a graduate for student loans, shall receive a $125 write-off per month per graduate. 
  • Larger corporations shall receive a lower tax credit e.g. pay $100 a month to a graduate for student loans, shall receive a $115 write-off per month per graduate. 
  • The more a business pays for student loans, and the more student loans paid for the higher the write off. 
  • Offers small businesses an advantage in luring graduates by offering a new benefit.