Governor Kotek Surprises Oregon With News About Education System

Matt Lillywhite

Governor Tina Kotek recently impressed Oregon by announcing a plan to increase literacy rates...

Governor Tina Kotek recently announced a plan to increase literacy rates in Oregon. “Literacy is the foundation for learning, yet far too many students are not getting the intentional literacy support and experiences they need,” she said. “We can and must do more to prepare new educators for teaching every student to read and write.”

Governor Tina Kotek will form a council to provide suggestions to raise the bar for elementary educator preparation for reading and writing teaching as part of her ongoing efforts to enhance literacy rates. The council will reportedly include teachers, elementary school leaders, representatives from education preparation programs, literacy experts, teachers, and bipartisan appointments from the Oregon House and Senate.

It's also worth mentioning Governor Kotek's recent collaboration with Rep. Jason Kropf to create House Bill 3198. It aims to allocate at least $140 million for targeted, evidence-based, culturally responsive literacy programs both inside and outside of the classroom.

Tina Kotek Wants To Improve The Oregon Education System.

"Every Oregon child should have a safe place to receive a high-quality, culturally responsive public education, and every family needs access to affordable child care options," per a press release from Governor Kotek that outlines her top priorities. "The lack of available child care is also having a serious impact on employers’ ability to recruit and retain the talent we need for a thriving economy."

Included in Governor Kotek's 2023-2025 budget is a $100 million provision for evidence-based literacy programs. Oregon will ensure preschool and primary school educators have the necessary training, time, materials, and ongoing coaching to integrate evidence-based reading practices with culturally responsive approaches. There will also be additional help for children who require it, alongside systems to ensure government programs are properly implemented by local authorities.

Governor Kotek Believes Investing In The Education System Will Yield Huge Benefits.

"I believe that investing in education is investing in the future of Oregon," Governor Kotek said on Twitter. Perhaps that's why Kotek has made early literacy a key focus of her first few months in office.

It's no secret that early access to high-quality education is a well-known predictor of success. As a result, the National Education Association (NEA) reports that children who participate in early childhood education programs are less likely to repeat grades, are better prepared academically for later grades, and earn more in the labor force.

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Matt Lillywhite covers politics, the economy, and kitchen-table issues that matter.


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