For whom are you voting for Governor?
Republican Christine Drazan
Democrat Tina Kotek
Non-Affiliated Betsy Johnson
Some other candiate
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Search Articles

Post an Event

Salem Keizer We Stand Together Education Forum
Wednesday, August 17, 2022 at 7:30 am
Celeste Guptill has been involved in some facet of alternative education for over twenty years. She has participated with several different homeschool methods, researched and advocated in Salem-Keizer for charter schools. She is going to present several options for alternative education models available and give tips on how to access those, to help you find what will work best for your family.
The Rec, 3500 River Road North, Keizer

Oregon State Fair
Friday, August 26, 2022 at 10:00 am
Which part of the Oregon State Fair are you most excited for? We'll keep adding to the fun all summer long!
Salem, Or

Washington County Candidate Meet and Greet
Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at 6:30 pm
Join our Washington County State House and Senate Candidates and Oregon State and National Candidates to discuss issues that are important to you, your family, and your community. Refreshments provided.
King City Clubhouse 15245 SW 116th Ave. King City, Oregon 97224

Linn County GOP Gala and Auction
Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Keynote Speaker Dave Sanderson, 2009 "Miracle on the Hudson" survivor.
Linn County Expo Center

Washington County GOP Reagan Dinner
Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 6:00 pm
Tickets for Reagan Dinner 2022 in Hillsboro September 17th, now on sale at, featuring former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Oregon General Election
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 8:00 pm

View All Calendar Events

Public School Enrollment Declines
The public education system has systemic weaknesses

Oregon public schools are seeing declines in enrollment.

Oregon public schools have enrolled 29 fewer students for 2020-21 than they did a decade ago for 2011-12 -- that after 10 years of year-over-year increases to enrollment. The decline in enrollment isn't as bad as the chart makes it look, as it's only showing the tip of the iceberg, but a decline of 3.9% is not sustainable. In raw numbers, it's a loss of 22,000 students from a pool of half a million.

On the other hand, the 2020-21 numbers represent just the first year of COVID-19 and the school policies that were accepted by many in the beginning. What does the next set of numbers look like?

As teachers' unions flex their muscle and make demands of the system, parents are ultimately downstream from those demands. It's not lost on a parent that the same teacher who demands full pay, yet no in-person classroom duty might not be making a great statement when they bump into the unhappy parent at Costco.

One might look at the graph and simply conclude that the cause is nearly entirely COVID-19 and that, once the outbreak and society get repaired and back to normal, the graph will snap back, or at least make a partial recovery. This might not be true. The public education system has systemic weaknesses, most significantly its inability to educate and graduate students. Time spent on critical race theory, what some consider inappropriate sex education, as well as other speculative curricula may have led to a leveling off of enrollment which began about 2015.

The consequence of declining enrollment? Once a critical mass is reached -- one can imagine that it's less than 50% -- a group of people, resentful of having to pay for a public school system that no longer delivers results, will find a way to no longer pay -- perhaps through a voucher law. While this obviously leaves a social mark, it also leaves a political mark. It has the effect of shutting down two of the largest public employee unions in the state, the Oregon Education Association which represents teachers and the Oregon School Employees Association which represents all the classified employees.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-14 11:47:39Last Update: 2021-05-13 12:14:14

Read More Articles