Four Things You Should Know About Learning Pods in Oregon

By Helen Doran

Learning pods have become a popular solution for parents searching for additional support for their children struggling to learn during the pandemic. Here are four things you should know about learning pods in Oregon:

  1. A recent survey conducted hints that learning pods are here to stay. In March, one out of every five families was actively participating in a pod and another was looking to find one. Moreover, one in four teachers expressed interest in teaching a learning pod.
  2. Learning pods in Oregon are subject to Early Learning Division (ELD) regulations for at-home daycares. These numerous regulations can be impossible for learning pods, which have more in common with the less-regulated homeschooling sector than at-home daycares.
  3. The Oregon Department of Education has explicitly discouraged the formation of learning pods on the basis of equity, since pods have the possibility of “leaving out students who are already underserved by our school system.”
  4. Establishing an Education Savings Account (ESA) program in Oregon would address equity concerns by allowing low-income and underserved families the opportunity to use their child’s education dollars for creative solutions such as learning pods.

Learning pods hint at the future of education. Parents want more flexibility and more options for their children. Let’s ensure that future is possible in Oregon.

Helen Doran is a Program Assistant, External Affairs at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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Comments 1

  1. Avatar for JimK


    2:49 pm - May 14, 2021

    So the state’s solution for the “equity” problem with learning pods is to actually make the “equity” problem WORSE. People who can afford to get around the state’s limitation, usually those with more economic resources , will do so. Everyone else can get the lower quality of education. Soon they will follow the Boston model and just eliminate API courses because it isn’t fair that not everyone takes AP courses. Maybe people should look up that 1980’s film Stand and Deliver. Instead of setting the bars so low. People do not get better by lowering the bar so they can easily get over it. They often meet that lower expectation. Raise it a bit, not to the moon, and people will pleasantly surprise you.

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