A look ahead at 2017’s top education topics


A look ahead at 2017’s top education topics

Published 7:19 p.m. PT Dec. 27, 2016 | Updated 11:00 a.m. PT Dec. 28, 2016

Money, facilities, and legislation will be the focus in 2017 education stories.

Salem-Keizer completes work for 2008 construction bond

Voters in the Salem-Keizer School District passed a $242.1 million bond in 2008.

The final portion of the bond sale, $11.5 million, will be spent at McKinley Elementary School for seismic upgrades, among other projects.

Salem-Keizer’s task force makes recommendation to board for overcrowding

To address overcrowding and other issues in Salem-Keizer, district Superintendent Christy Perry formed the Citizens Facilities Task Force.

The district expects nearly 5,000 more students in the next 20 years. These students would have little to no room in an already overcrowded district.

The task force has met twice, but will have a handful of meetings at the start of the new year, culminating in a recommendation made to the school board in March.

It could mean new buildings, renovation efforts or school attendance boundary changes.

Districts put together 2017-18 budgets

As school boards and superintendents draft budgets for the upcoming year, they’ll have to think about financial shortfalls, teacher shortages, facility needs and more.

Districts will be watching the legislative sessions carefully and looking for additional resources other than the Governor’s proposed budget.

These efforts get to the heart of school funding and expenses.

10-year physical education legislation goes int10-yeart

Ten years ago, legislators passed House Bill 3141, which requires schools provide 150 minutes of physical education per week for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, and 225 minutes per week for grades 6-8, by the 2017-2018 school year.

At a five-year check in, the Oregon Department of Education said schools were further from the goal than anticipated.

Will they be ready for the 2017 deadline?

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implemented on local level

After 14 years of No Child Left Behind, educators and policy makers wanted less testing, more state and local control, and more resources for the students who need it most.

So became the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Since December 2015, state officials have been speaking with community members to find out what needs to be done in local schools.

In 2017, many of the state’s ideas will begin to be implemented. How will education change? How will the new President influence the federal law?

Contact Natalie Pate at npate@StatesmanJournal.com, 503-399-6745, or follow her on Twitter @Nataliempate and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/nataliepatejournalist

Published by Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate is a freelance journalist and author based in Salem, Oregon. She wrote about education for more than seven years at the Statesman Journal and now covers education and other topics throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is originally from Colorado and earned her B.A. in Politics and French from Willamette University.

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