New School Year Kicks Off Across the State

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Governor Brown Celebrates Passage of Student Success Act with Students and Educators

Medford & Portland — Governor Kate Brown kicked off the new school year this week, welcoming the incoming freshman classes at South Medford High School and Jefferson High School in Portland. Joined by students, educators, and legislators at both schools, the governor ceremonially signed the Student Success Act, which provides a historic $2 billion in targeted investments in Oregon’s early education system and K-12 schools.

“We are investing an additional $1 billion a year in you, and students like you across the state. We know the future of Oregon depends on you — and you are worth every penny,” she told freshmen at Jefferson High.

The Student Success Act targets resources to improve education for every child in the state, especially those that have long been underserved. This includes expanding access to high-quality preschool, ensuring teachers have the resources to support students struggling with behavioral health issues, and funding hands-on learning that will prepare students for college or career.

Governor Brown welcomed families at Albina Head Start — the infants and toddlers, like Saniyah here, started their first day of school today too.

At South Medford High School, the governor shared a story about nine-year-old Zoe, who wrote a book to teach people about the dangers that single-use plastics pose for oceans. The book, “Coral’s Quest,” was illustrated by a recent North Medford High School grad, Sandra Aros.

“Zoe said something that will stick with me forever: “Plastic is killing the Earth and the ocean. And kids are the only ones who will be here if it doesn’t get fixed now,” Governor Brown shared. She then told the students that it’s them who will inherit the world, long after her generation is gone.

“I have faith in the future of Oregon. Because you are it!” she said.

At the core of the Student Success Act is giving students the opportunity to thrive. Also known as House Bill 3427, the law aims to correct three decades of underinvestment in Oregon’s school and children, and includes sweeping provisions for new and improved services for children and families. Equity is the driving vision behind the legislation.

“These investments will ensure that all our kids get the strongest start in life and can graduate high school with a plan for their future, and the tools to compete in a global economy,” said Governor Brown.

About Author

Natalie King is the Media Strategist with the Office of Governor Kate Brown.

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