Senate Bill 34 gives TriMet authority to increase payroll taxes. Watch Representative Wingard’s compelling testimony here.
SB 34 passed the House on a 32 to 28 vote.
African-Americans support school choice at a rate higher than any other ethnic group. A recent Harvard poll showed 67% of blacks support school choice for low-income students and 52% support vouchers for all children in failing public schools. Yet, presidential candidate Barack Obama recently refused to stand up for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program as Congress threatened to end it. (more…)
The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program enjoys broad bipartisan support, yet Congress is about to end this life-saving chance for a better future for 1,900 District children. Educational opportunity for all students, especially for the most disadvantaged, should not be allowed to be a partisan issue. (more…)
Does planning have to work to be successful?
We Oregonians believe many myths about ourselves that just don’t happen to be true. As a visioning group created by the Governor put it not too long ago: We Love Dreamers!
For instance, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently came to town and congratulated Portland on reducing its carbon emissions to 1990 levels. Portland has asked for and received world-wide recognition for (more…)
Calculating the true per-student cost of public education in Oregon is complicated, but taxpayers have a right to expect government to be transparent about spending and to provide honest figures — calculated from a taxpayer’s perspective. (more…)
Recently, the Oregon Board of Education took up the issue of whether and how to regulate online or “virtual” charter schools. A state law, passed in 2005 at the request of the teachers union, places severe restrictions on virtual charter schools that would essentially prevent them from operating without a waiver from the Board. The law gives the Board the power to set the conditions under which any online charter school can operate.
After much deliberation, the Board decided last week to (more…)
A recent study suggested that nearly half of the cost of a home in the Seattle area is due to land-use regulations.
The study, by University of Washington Economics professor Theo Eicher, was highlighted in a recent article in the Seattle Times.
Professor Eicher’s research shows that the (more…)
The Portland Public School Board recently denied all four requests from charter school applicants who wanted to offer more options for Portland children in the 2008-09 school year.
The Willamette Week described the meeting this way:
“Charter schools got no love Monday night from Portland Public Schools’ Board of Education. The board unanimously rejected four new charter applications in a two-hour smackdown that (more…)
Contrary to what the interest groups who run our public education system keep saying, the general public understands their schools aren’t all that they could be. A recent nationwide poll of 1,000 adults by The Economist Magazine reveals an interesting picture of how voters feel about public education.
Only 13% say “Too little money” is the most important problem (more…)
The polling data is trending toward school choice. As more and more parents experience choice through charter schools, vouchers, tax credits and the like, the idea of educational freedom becomes less scary, more real and urgently rational. (more…)
One of the most perplexing things about the current fight over Oregon land use laws is how many wealthy Oregonians publicly support restricting development rights.
Many of them are landowners. So it would seem they are advocating against their own interests and the basic concepts of the free market and private property that sustain their wealth. (more…)
Democracy is not an excuse for tyranny. It must be more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
As a voter, consider whether it’s ethical to take property away from other people simply because you can out-vote them.
There are only two kinds of politicians: those who promise to use the power of government to give you something, and those who (more…)
The 2007 Oregon Legislative Session ended June 28. With very few exceptions, nothing the legislature did made Oregonians more free. Most of the legislation advanced government intervention into our lives, our economy and our interactions with each other. (more…)
One third of the legislature supported the Freedom to Choose My School Grant bill in the first year that we attempted to lobby at the state capitol. A number of others expressed off-the-record interest in our attempts to bring more choices to low-income and minority parents in Portland. Few bills get this kind of support during their first legislative session. (more…)
House Education Committee votes on our school choice proposal
On Friday, May 11, 2007 supporters of House Bill 3010 convinced the House Education Committee to vote on the issue of giving low-income minority parents a choice in their child’s education.
Using a procedural motion, we attempted to amend HB 3010 into a Senate bill (SB 334A) being considered by the Committee. Both School Choice Working Group board member Esther Hinson and I testified on the amendment.
We reminded committee members that drop-out and reading failure rates continue at alarming rates within (more…)
Public policy advocates often find that spending extended periods at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem can lead to growing cynicism about the public process. But every once in a while, you experience something that restores your faith in what you do. April 5, 2007 was one of those days. I traveled to Salem with a delegation from Portland to testify in support of House Bill 3010. (more…)
Thursday, April 5, 2007, was a great day for me personally. I was very proud to be a part of this hearing, which you can listen to here (starting at 1:36:50):
A mostly African American delegation from Portland traveled to the Oregon State Capitol to testify in support of House Bill 3010, the Freedom to Choose My School Grant program. The bill would create a pilot project to allow 1,000 low-income students to take the state funding for their education and go to any school, public or private in Portland.
The bill got a hearing because State Rep. Betty Komp (D-Woodburn) believes that low-income residents of Portland deserve an opportunity to be heard, and she chairs the House Subcommittee on Education Innovation. (more…)
My name is Matt Wingard and I appreciate the opportunity to testify in support of HB 3010. I am Director of the School Choice Project for Cascade Policy Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan policy research center based in Portland. Cascade works to advance individual liberty, economic opportunity, and personal responsibility.
House Bill 3010 is the product of an 18-month outreach effort in the North and Northeast Portland minority communities. In September, 2005 we began hosting monthly meetings in Northeast Portland to hear the concerns of parents and students in and around the Jefferson High School Cluster. We spent many hours listening to longtime residents and (more…)