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Legislative leaders, led by Senate President Peter Courtney and Senator Michael Dembrow, today introduced a $150 million Summer Learning Package to keep Oregon kids learning and active over the summer months.
“We have to be aggressive about education,” said Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem). “Our children have really been affected by this pandemic. We pushed hard for summer learning last year. Parents and teachers told us it had a big effect on kids. Summer learning has to become permanent.
“This is a big step forward for our students… but we can’t stop here. The year-round school has got to come.”
“For Oregon’s kids, summers should be a time for growth, not for stagnation,” said Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), chair of the Senate Committee on Education. “I’ve heard from students, teachers, and parents from around the state that last summer’s enrichment and learning programs were a blessing and a relief. This was especially the case for kids whose parents could never afford to send them to camp or pay for summer classes. Last summer was an experiment that worked, and one that we need to continue and build on. We need to make sure that we’re getting services to the kids most affected by COVID disruptions, such as those with disabilities who receive Special Education services. I can’t think of a greater priority for our children.”
Oregon lawmakers passed a historic Summer Learning and Child Care Package during the 2021 legislative session, investing over $200 million in summer school, enrichment activities, and community programs.
The investments from that package made it possible for school districts across 35 of Oregon’s 36 counties to create nearly 6,000 new summer programs, allowing 89,000 more K-12 students to participate in summer learning and activities than in previous years.
Last year’s package also established grants for community organizations to create programs—such as day camps and park programs—that kept kids engaged and learning over the summer. These grants reached organizations in every Oregon county and potentially served as many as 340,000 students.
“This program will continue to make a positive impact for kids in all corners of the state,” Rep. Anna Williams (D-Hood River) said. “Every community deserves a program like this, and it’s essential that we build on the great summer learning work from last year to support our students and their families.”
The 2022 Summer Learning Package allows school districts and community organizations to continue these programs and ensure Oregon’s kids can keep learning, growing, and staying active over the summer.
The package funds new and existing summer programs by distributing grants in three areas:
Summer K-8 Enrichment Grants
Allows school districts to fund new and existing summer programs for K-8 students, including:
· Enrichment Activities (robotics, dance, art, music, outdoor programs, etc.)
· Academic Learning and Readiness Supports (summer school, tutoring, kindergarten transition programs, etc.)
· Social-Emotional and Mental Health Services
Summer High School Academic Grants
Provides funding for school districts to offer summer school programs, helping high school students recover or acquire new academic credits to stay on track for graduation.
Summer Community Activity Grants
Delivers grants to community organizations through the Oregon Community Foundation, supporting new and existing summer enrichment activities for K-12 aged students such as day camps, park programs, and tutoring.
Additional programs may be included as details are finalized. More information about this package will be available during the final week of the 2022 legislative session.
Source: Oregon Senate President