What will the 2024 presidential ballot look like?
Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden
Donald Trump vs. some Democrat other than Joe Biden
Some Republican other than Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden
Some Republican other than Donald Trump vs. some Democrat other than Joe Biden
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Make Oregon Great Again
Saturday, June 22, 2024 at 9:30 am
Our mission is to encourage all voters across Oregon to get involved in the 2024 election. Speaking is Mike Lindell, Joe Hoft, Mark Mackay, Donna Kreitzberg, Sarah Phillips, John Lott, Dave Duquette, Andy Pollack.
Jackson County Fairgrounds

Election Integrity Expert Dr Frank in Polk County!
Tuesday, June 25, 2024 at 6:30 pm
Dr Douglass Frank, renowned scientist, election integrity expert, and noble peace prize nominee, is presenting his data analysis of Polk County! Dr frank has been working incessantly for election reform with grassroots teams in over forty-eight states, earning the title of “The Johnny Appleseed of Election Integrity.” He’s met in person with dozens of Secretaries of State, Attorneys General, legislators, and hundreds of local election officials currently helping 300 counties across the nation. He is coming to Polk County June 25 at Life Church at 6:30pm We need patriots and citizens that are concerned about election integrity to come and hear Dr. Frank speak on Polk County election results, Oregon election results and problems with our voter roles. His analysis and evidence is quite compelling! 
Life Church 255 College Dr NW Salem, OR 97304

Depot Day - Celebrating Cane Berries
Saturday, June 29, 2024 at 9:00 am
Cane berries are an important crop in Marion County both currently and historically. Marionberries were named for Marion County. Come celebrate Cane Berries with Brooks Historical Society. A FREE event with Berry themed games, Pie baking contest, Pie eating contest, and Bumper Crop Betty and Master Gardeners will be there. Marionberry cobbler will be available to purchase. While there visit some of the other 13 museums on site.
Brooks Historical Society Powerland Heritage Park 3995 Brooklake Road, Brooks Oregon 97303

Lincoln County Fair
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 4-6
Lincoln County Fairgrounds

Independence Day
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm
Independence Day

Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 11-14
Oregon State Fair & Expo Center

Jackson County Fair
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 16-21
Jackson County Fairgrounds - The Expo

Columbia County Fair
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 17-21
Columbia County Fairgrounds

Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center

Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons

Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds

Curry County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Curry County Fairgrounds - Event Center on the Beach

Hood River County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Hood River County Fairgrounds

Jefferson County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Jefferson County Fair Complex

Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-28
Lane Events Center

Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo

Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 30 - August 3
Malheur County Fairgrounds - Desert Sage Event Center

Benton County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3, 2024
Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds

Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center

Union County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3
Union County Fairgrounds

Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds

Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair

Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds

Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 4-9
Baker County Fairgrounds

Harney County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 4-9
Harney County Fairgrounds

Sherman County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 19-24
Sherman County Fairgrounds

Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Crook County Fairgrounds

Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex

Grant County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Grant County Fairgrounds

Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center

Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds

Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Tillamook County Fairgrounds

Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Umatilla County Fairgrounds

Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds

Clackamas County Fair
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 13-17
Clackamas County Event Center

Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds

Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds

Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds

Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds

Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 31 - September 9
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center

Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla
Saturday, September 7, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla 5pm-9pm
Albany, OR

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Can School Choice Initiatives Restore Accountability?
Education Freedom, a series on “Why School Choice”

Editors note: This is the last in a five-part series on School Choice Initiatives aimed for the November 2024 election ballot.

No child should be denied access to the learning environment that works for them, says Donna Kreitzberg, sponsor of the School Choice Initiates IP 5 and IP 6. Oregon schools are lagging behind in recovery from the pandemic lockdown creating learning deficits.

The Education Recovery Scorecard, 2024 study, shows Oregon’s elementary and middle school students remain an average of about two-thirds of a year behind in reading compared to pre-pandemic levels and three-fourths of a year behind in math. That’s roughly two to three times the deficit faced by students nationwide despite a $1.6 billion infusion of federal pandemic aid. The report shows Oregon schools have yet to spend $544 million. Why are districts faced with making cuts as students get further behind while teachers walk picket lines?

Stand for Children Oregon reviewed how schools spent the federal pandemic funds and found the 10 largest school districts directed relatively little of the federal money towards the strategies that research found most helpful to catch students up. They include frequent small-group tutoring, academically rigorous summer school, or extending the school year. Oregon had one requirement that 20% had to go towards academic recovery, and that was essentially meaningless to produce results. Most of the money was spent on preserving teacher’s jobs, which needs explanation since schools were fully funded. Preparing for the end of federal funds, districts were allotted a $900 million increase, but many districts are still faced with cuts in their workforce.

Oregon’s argument for having one of the longest school closures isn’t valid when other similar states are bouncing back and most are back to 2019 levels. In an interview with Oregon Live, Charlene Williams, Department of Education Director, said Oregon needs to strengthen instruction systemwide. She sited Oregon’s long tradition of local school district control as a problem.

If local school district control is a problem, then where does that leave parents? Governor Brown’s task force stated, "Local school district leaders should be given wide latitude to choose what is best for their students and communities." Then they passed a bill making it virtually impossible to fire failing school superintendents.

The Heritage Foundation’s Education Freedom Report Card ranks Oregon 51 overall, tumbling 11 places. Heritage sets standards in the report card for achieving and maintaining education freedom in states. They measure more than two dozen factors in four categories: Oregon ranks 46 in Education Choice, 51 in Teacher Freedom, 25 in Transparency, and 39 in Return on Investment. They found Oregon has done little to provide transparency and choice for families. They criticized the state for still using Common Core and advised eliminating aligned assessments. They saw waste in the growth of non-teaching staff, particularly “chief diversity officers.” In public schools, Oregon employs 0.76 teachers for every non-teacher. Teacher salaries are above average, still teacher unions blame low results on underpaid teachers.

The lack of accountability has parents pulling their students out of public schools. Eighty percent of $1.6 billion was spent on non-academic priorities. The Department of Education thinks it will cost $1 billion more per year to bring students up to state academic benchmarks and raise graduation rates to 95 percent.

Heritage found Oregon is the 24th-most per pupil spending among states, spending $15,523 in 2023. OregonLive reported losing 43,000 students from public schools since 2019, yet Oregon school districts operate in the red, so the legislature added a historic $900 million in additional funding for the 2023-2025 biennium budget. Oregon-EdChoice estimates Oregon spends closer to $17,000 per public school student per year.

The per student spending will naturally rise without increasing the budget as public school registrations declines. With private school choice, there could be more funding available for each public school student without increasing taxes. When a public school student leaves the student takes all of their costs but only a portion of their funding. The public school then has none of the costs for the student but keeps a portion of the funding for the student. The funding the student leaves behind can be spent on all the students who remain at the public school.

The legislature calculates a “Formula Revenue for Distribution” as a portion of the amount spent on students in public schools. For the June 2021 State School Fund. the estimated amount was $9,535 per student. IP 6 is designed so that 80% of that yearly per-student amount will follow a student to private school or homeschool. IP 6 also sets a floor of $9,500 so that the minimum amount that will follow a student will be $7,600 (80% of $9,500). A minimum of $1,900 (20% of $9,500) will remain in the home district. IP 6 could be a solution to problems such as funding shortages, understaffing, large class sizes, or staffing cuts in public schools.

Eric Fruits PhD, Vice President of Research with Cascade Policy calculated that there could be an increase to districts of $277 per public school student. In another Cascade report, “Education Savings Accounts Can Boost Per-Student Spending in Public Schools,” Fruits evaluates the effect of an Education Savings Account (ESA) program on local school district budgets. He examined funding for every Oregon school district and found that if 5% of public school students used an ESA program to transfer outside of the government-run system, per-student spending for the remaining students would increase by an average of 1.7%. Fruits concluded that, "Contrary to critics’ concerns, school choice programs such as ESAs do not “defund” public schools. Instead, school choice programs simultaneously reduce costs to public schools and increase per-student funding."



Looking beyond the money, parents are also tired of a leftist agenda that puts them on edge every legislative session. In 2023, the legislature passed HB 2002, which allows girls of any age to obtain an abortion without her parents’ knowledge. The legislature was back in 2024 with SB 1583 attempting to block parents and citizen-elected school boards from having input to determine and exclude age-inappropriate books and materials used in the curriculum.

Heritage criticized Oregon lawmakers for not rejecting the prejudice caused by the application of critical race theory in schools, and not addressing the threats to minor-age children from the teaching of “gender” in place of biological sex. School Choice is a system where policies set by the legislature still gives parents the power to decide if such policies are in the best interests of their children. If parents decide such policies are not right for their children, they can choose a different learning environment without financial and regulatory roadblocks.

Whether a student is learning in a traditional public school, charter school, private school, or homeschool setting, they are all Oregon students. As Oregon students, they should have equal access to the taxes Oregonians pay for education and have a right to learn in the way that will allow them to thrive and succeed.

For more information, Education Freedom for Oregon website has information about the petitions, events on gathering signatures, and print and mail petitions.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-04-05 11:36:30Last Update: 2024-04-04 18:36:36

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