Month: August 2010

Solid Foundations Mean More Graduations

Kathryn Hickok
QuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 9-1-10.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

By Kathryn Hickok

Solid Foundations Mean More Graduations

Download QuickPoint Here

Did you know that students who drop out of high school are three times as likely to face unemployment, earn less than half the average salary of a college graduate, and are 47 times more likely to end up incarcerated than college graduates?

In Oregon, a third of public high school students do not earn a standard high school diploma in four years. What if you could do one simple thing to increase a lower-income child’s likelihood of high school graduation?

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

This is a "told you so" story about Measures 66 & 67 …

Steve Buckstein

This is a “told you so” story about Measures 66 & 67 …

by Steve Buckstein

In December 2009, Cascade Policy Institute published a research report by Randall Pozdena, Ph.D. and Eric Fruits, Ph.D. forecasting the impacts of tax increase Measures 66 and 67 on Oregon employment.

The study was based on thorough research of peer-reviewed literature and a quantitative analysis of taxes and economic growth across the U.S. and over a long period of time. They concluded that the tax measures would have a significant negative impact on Oregon’s employment picture, as shown in Exhibit 1 on page 7 of their report.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Reclaim Oregon’s Forests: We Can Manage

Ben Shelton
Cascade Commentary

Reclaim Oregon’s Forests: We Can Manage

By Ben Shelton

Federal ownership of Oregon’s forests has failed. Oregon, like other Western states, has relied on federal agencies to manage the majority of its land. But it is now clear this century-long experiment has crippled our forests and rural communities. In spite of these hardships, federal bureaucrats add insult to injury with reports like the one released in late July by the Western Oregon Task Force, which offered “too little, too late,” according to Oregon’s congressional delegation. If Oregonians want this to change, we must abandon our deep-rooted faith in federal agencies, reclaim our forests, and manage what is ours.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Oregon School Districts Restrict Choice for Special Education Students

Olivia Wolcott
QuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint8-23-10Olivia.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

By Olivia Wolcott

Oregon School Districts Restrict Choice for Special Education Students

Download the PDF

In Oregon public schools, every special education student receives an Individualized Education Program (IEP), designed to provide the child with an education in the “least restrictive environment” possible. However, Oregon school districts restrict the path to success for many special education students, especially in the case of virtual charter schools.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Proposed Charges Stifle Growth

Ben Shelton
QuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint8-17-10.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

by Ben Shelton

Proposed Charges Stifle Growth

Download PDF

It’s fair to say growth should pay for itself. Yet, Portland city planners seem more and more willing to curtail development before it even begins.

Next year the city plans to impose two new transportation overlay charges in the Portland State University and Central Eastside districts. These new impact fees, which will be in addition to citywide transportation fees, will effectively double the transportation charges for development.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Biomass: Boon or Boondoggle?

Karla Kay Edwards

Cascade Commentary

Biomass: Boon or Boondoggle?
Download the PDF

by Karla Kay Edwards

As Oregon communities struggle through this recession, they are looking for an economic “silver bullet” to help them survive and to become a foundation for future economic prosperity. Renewable energy has been thought to be one of those “silver bullets,” due to Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio mandate and the vast amount of government funds devoted to these energy technologies. With Oregon’s expansive forestlands, woody biomass, at first glance, seems to present an opportunity both to put more people to work in rural communities and to provide a renewable energy source.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

August 19th U-Choose Public Education – Cost and Quality and Teachers Unions

U-Choose has scheduled another great issues forum you will not want to miss! Come here our own Christina Martin speak!

Public Education- Cost, Quality, and Teachers Unions

Thursday August 19, 6:30PM- 9:00PM
Crowne Plaza
14811 Kruse Oaks Blvd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Bring a friend (and students) and get informed and up to date on this issue, voice your opinion and mobilize!

Speakers:

Christina MartinBill Sizemore, Oregon Taxpayers United, Bill@OTU.org, www.BillSizemore.com, will address the Oregon Education Association, their “strong arm” tactics and the real motivation for demands to increase funding for Oregon public schools!

Christina Martin, Cascade Policy Institute, Christina@cascadepolicy.org, www.cascadepolicy.org, will address the cost and quality of public schools and how your tax dollars are being spent and what students are and aren’t learning!

To view the flyer, click below.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Lemonade Stand Lessons

Lemonade Stand Lessons

by Steve Buckstein

Download the PDF

In this persistent recession, it’s supposed to be all about jobs…jobs…jobs. But now, thanks to the budding entrepreneurial efforts of one seven-year-old girl, many people in the Portland metro area are focused not so much on jobs as they are on the limits of state power to restrict business activity.

It all came down on July 29 when an Oregon City mother, Maria, and her daughter Julie set up a lemonade stand at the “Last Thursday” monthly art fair in Northeast Portland. Julie wanted to earn some summer spending money, and her mother realized that setting up at the busy art fair rather than in front of their home in Oregon City meant many more potential customers for her “little capitalist” (my term, not theirs).

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Vote for Hines, Oregon!

Karla Kay Edwards

Vote For Hines Oregon!

By Karla Kay Edwards

The economies of rural Oregon communities have been struggling for years, but the resourcefulness and resiliency of those communities keep them moving forward.

One example of resourcefulness is the volunteer fire department of Hines, Oregon. They have two fire engines with a combined age of 62 years. They desperately need to retire the 1973 fire engine they endearingly refer to as “Barney,” but they are simply unable to raise the $250,000 to replace it. Between the Hines and Burns volunteer fire departments, they cover the entire 10,000+ square miles of Harney County, so needless to say, they need a reliable vehicle to actually cover such a vast area.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland: “Giving Parents a Choice, Giving Children a Chance”

Kathryn Hickok

Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland: “Giving Parents a Choice, Giving Children a Chance”

By Kathryn Hickok
“Dear Angel, words cannot express the gratitude I feel towards you, and the wonderful opportunity you have helped my children with. They are surrounded by people that help them achieve their potential.” – Danielle

Did you know that a privately funded scholarship program here in Oregon helps low-income kids get a “hand up” in life through a better education? CSF-Portland has been a lifeline for more than 600 children in our community, and we need your support this summer to keep 34 kids in their schools in September.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Unemployment Insurance Fact Sheet

Christina Martin Unemployment Insurance Fact Sheet

by Christina Martin

This piece accompanies an earlier report by Christina Martin, found here.

Download a PDF of this Fact Sheet

Unemployment Insurance Facts

Unemployment Insurance (UI) needs reform. It is inefficient and unfair for many workers. For the minority of workers eligible to receive benefits, the system encourages temporary lay-offs and discourages workers from finding employment.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Unemployment Accounts Would Benefit Most Oregonians

Rebecca Steele
QuickPoint!

Unemployment Accounts Would Benefit Most Oregonians
by Rebecca Steele
The recent federal extension of unemployment insurance benefits, which will allow the unemployed to get benefits for more than 2 years, is a misguided attempt by the United States Senate to aid unemployed workers. In reality, it will not serve as an economic stimulus and does little to help the unemployed, who really need jobs. According to a recent study for JP Morgan Chase, unemployment benefits extensions alone have raised the unemployment rate by 1.5 percentage points during this recession, a figure that should make legislators think twice before perpetuating a broken system.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Why Must Schools Fail Before Parents Can Choose Charters?

Olivia Wolcott Cascade Commentary
Why Must Schools Fail Before Parents Can Choose Charters?
by Olivia Wolcott and Becca Steele
Becca Steele

On August 2, 2010, 77 public schools in Oregon were sanctioned for missing federal performance targets two years in a row—more schools than ever before. These schools now must offer students free tutoring or priority rights to transfer to another school. Education, sadly, has become such a highly politicized issue that only when schools fail are students free to pursue other educational options, most notably public charter schools. Students in non-failing schools, however, do not have this same freedom. The politicization of public charter schools by elected and appointed officials, politicians and the state teachers’ unions has effectively stifled educational choice and the growth of charter schools.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

GovDocs adds Oregon state agency expenditure information

Ever wondered where different Oregon government agencies spend their money? Or how much money different agencies spend with out of state firms? TheOregonPolitico.com has just launched a new agency expenditure database for their GovDoc website.

Read Blog Detail

Level Playing Field Equals Loss of Economic Freedoms

Karla Kay Edwards
Cascade Commentary

Level Playing Field Equals Loss of Economic Freedoms 

by Karla Kay Edwards

Download PDF Here

An important discussion is taking place in Oregon among counties and agricultural interests regarding regulating activities allowed on farmlands, especially on lands zoned as Exclusive Farm Use (EFU). During the 2010 Special Legislative Session, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 1055, which addressed the ability of wineries to sell incidental items and services in conjunction with the winery as long as they do not exceed 25% of on-site sales income.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Unemployment accounts would be better for most Oregonians than traditional unemployment insurance

For Immediate Release
August 4, 2010

Contact
Christina Martin, Asset Ownership Project Director
Cascade Policy Institute
503-242-0900
Christina@cascadepolicy.org

Unemployment accounts would be better for most Oregonians than traditional unemployment insurance

By Christina Martin

PORTLAND, Ore. – Ninety-seven percent of Oregonians would benefit by switching from a standard unemployment insurance system to a system of unemployment savings accounts, according to a study released today by the Cascade Policy Institute.

The study, Unemployment Accounts: A Better Way of Protecting the Unemployed, was completed by economists Stéphane Pallage, Ph.D, chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Quebec in Montreal, and Christian Zimmermann, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Connecticut.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Will Oregon’s Virtual Charter Schools Survive?

Christina Martin

Cascade Commentary

Will Oregon’s Virtual Charter Schools Survive?
Download the PDF

By Christina Martin

For more than a year, virtual (online) charter schools have been on the defensive against threats of crippling regulations. Last year, the Oregon Education Association (the state’s largest teachers union), proposed its “top-priority” bill (Senate Bill 767) that would have effectively shut down these innovative schools if it had been fully adopted. The Oregon Legislature responded by putting significant restrictions on the schools and capping student enrollment through 2011. The resulting bills also guarantee that the schools’ futures will remain uncertain for at least another year.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail

Sweet Sixteen?

Laura Lewis

QuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint8-3-10Laura.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

by Laura Lewis

Sweet Sixteen?

Download PDF

While John Kitzhaber is gearing up for November’s gubernatorial election, this year marks the sixteenth birthday of the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), Oregon’s innovative prioritized list system which Kitzhaber spearheaded as president of the Oregon Senate in the early 1990s. The prioritized list, a statement of conditions and treatments ranked by effectiveness and cost, was designed to contain costs while providing health care to more individuals.

(more…)

Read Blog Detail