Month: November 2010

A Mother’s Plea for School Choice

KristinaRibaliphoto

  A Mother’s Plea for School Choice

 By Kristina Ribali

Click here for a pdf version of this commentary.

I received a call this week from a concerned mother in our local school district. I listened as she described the troubles that her 10-year-old son has been having in school. He’s falling behind, he’s been bullied, and he’s so discouraged and overwhelmed that he wants to quit school altogether. I wish I could say that this is the first of these types of calls that I’ve received, but unfortunately it’s not. In the last two years alone, I’ve received over a dozen calls similar to this. (more…)

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John Charles applauded by Union members

It seems EVERYONE is finally realizing the importance of what John has been saying.

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Colossal Bond, Colossal Mistake

Lindsay BerschauerQuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint11-17-10Lindsay.mp3] Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

By Lindsay Berschauer

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The Portland Public School District announced last week that it is seeking a bond measure to the tune of $548 million, targeted mainly for renovation of some of the lowest performing schools in the district, Roosevelt and Jefferson High Schools. Roosevelt and Jefferson serve a combined 1,550 students, a fraction of what most other public schools serve. The District is seeking short-term one- and two-year bonds and asking taxpayers, or more specifically property owners, to pony up all but $100 million of the estimated $548 million cost.

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Cascade Newsletter – Volume 17, Number 2

The Cascade Newsletter for November 2010 has just been released.  Read about Oregon’s Budget Crisis, the failures of the Oregon Health Plan, School choice, the Children’s Scholarship Fund, and much more!

Click Here to download a copy.

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Unions’ School Funding Fears Are Unfounded, Study Finds

Christina MartinQuickPoint!
 

[audio:QuickPoint11-10-10Christina.mp3] Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

By Christina Martin

Online charter schools offer kids even in the far corners of Oregon the chance to receive a public education tailored to their individual needs. Yet many districts and union representatives oppose Oregon’s virtual charter schools, claiming they drain money from local districts.

Due to these complaints, Oregon’s legislature will consider allowing school districts to deny additional students access to virtual charter schools if 3% of district students have already enrolled in the online option.

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O&C Lands: “Living Capital” for Rural Oregon Counties

Karla Kay EdwardsCascade Commentary

O&C Lands: “Living Capital” for Rural Oregon Counties
By Karla Kay Edwards

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Oregon has been in an economic recession since 2008, but rural Oregon has been struggling for much longer. No single factor can be blamed for the economic downward spiral of rural Oregon, but changes in the management philosophy of our 18 million acres of federal forestlands in Oregon have played a significant part. Many rural communities have been stuck in the conundrum of trying to address chronic high unemployment and poverty without access to significant portions of the abundant renewable natural resources surrounding their communities.

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Press Release: Online Charter Schools increase district Funding per student

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Christina Martin
Cascade Policy Institute
Tel.: 503-242-0900
Fax: 503-242-3822
E-mail: Christina@cascadepolicy.org

Online Charter Schools increase district Funding per student

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PORTLAND – A student transfer to an online charter school can enable the student’s home district, and the charter schools’ sponsoring district, to spend more money per traditional public school student, according to a study released today by Cascade Policy Institute.

“Virtual charter schools have very little impact on districts’ funding overall, and will usually even increase per student spending for students in district schools,” says Eric Fruits, Ph.D., the author of the report. Fruits, an economist, is president of Economics International Corp.

Key findings of the report, Fiscal Impacts of Oregon Online Charter Schools, include:
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Report: Online Charter Schools increase district Funding per student


Online Charter Schools increase district Funding per student
by Eric Fruits, Ph D
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Executive Summary

Online or “virtual” schools educate students using lessons delivered via computer to students’ homes. Oregon charter schools receive a lower level of state funding than non-charter public schools. Even so, online charter schools attract criticism regarding their funding. Some critics complain that charter schools draw funding away from traditional schools.

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John tells TriMet Board, “Milwaukie Light Rail: You Will Own the Problem”

John A. Charles, Jr.Cascade Commentary

TriMet Board Meeting is currently considering Resolution 10-11-57 which would be a thumbs up to move forward with the Milwaukie Light Rail project as planned. John Charles provided the below testimony in response to this resolution. This resolution is scheduled for Wednesday.

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Members of the Board:

Resolution 10-11-57 must be considered within the context of TriMet’s current financial crisis.

There are two major cost drivers for TriMet: employee compensation and capital projects. Most of you can say that the payroll costs you now face were negotiated years ago and you have simply inherited the problem. However, if you approve this resolution and commit yourselves to new light rail service at a construction cost of $210 million per mile, you will own the problem.  And I see no way of solving your financial crisis if you have unsustainable costs in both operations and capital expansion.

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Resetting Oregon’s Budget and Recharging Our Economy

Steve Buckstein
Cascade Commentary

Resetting Oregon’s Budget and Recharging Our Economy

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by Steve Buckstein

Oregon voters didn’t go as far as voters nationally this month turning out incumbent politicians, but we did replace a number of big-government state legislators with more fiscally conservative ones.

Reducing government spending is a big issue nationally, and a virtual necessity in Oregon due to our balanced budget requirement. Cascade and Americans for Prosperity-Oregon published our answer to this challenge last month in our report, “Facing Reality: Ideas to Reset Oregon’s Budget and Recharge its Economy.”

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