Dr. Russell testifies before Education Subcommittee
Posted on 03/16/2017

This morning, Superintendent Maryalice Russell testified before the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education at the Oregon Capitol as the legislature works to build a budget for the upcoming biennium. The state budget faces an expected shortfall of $1.6 billion.

Dr. Russell brought several students with her who had been part of a group of first graders when the district put together a strategic educational plan called the 2020 Vision Project in 2009.

The Vision 2020 strategic planning process included dozens of forums and input from a wide range of community members, parents and staff. The process set the educational goals that included post-secondary education and employment opportunities for students. Dr. Russell noted that the students aspire to be doctors, architects, welders, journalists, programmers, game designers, artist, actors and dental hygienists.

“The students who were first graders during the Vision 2020 will graduate in 2019, the last year of the 2017-2019 biennium. Their school experience included the great recession, 40 teachers laid off, and significant reductions in their elementary programs,” said Russell. 

“They then moved on to substantially reduced middle school programs. Now, they’re facing the possibility of greatly reduced programs again during their high school experience. This is unacceptable.”

The superintendent asked the committee to allocate a minimum of $8.4 billion appropriation for K-12 schools this biennium. With that allocation, and using reserve funds to make up the shortfall, McMinnville will be able to continue existing programs into next year, as will most districts across Oregon.