Should Oregon taxpayers pay for abortions? Voters decide in November

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Oregon Ballot Measure 106 would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for certain abortions.

While supporters say this measure only limits what money could be used for abortions, opponents fear it is a backdoor ban on the procedure and disproportionately affects low-income Oregonians.

Read the full story here.


#MeToo: Salem calls for healing, empowerment and policy changes

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Salem women and men have joined millions online in the international #MeToo conversation about sexual assault and harassment.

Salem participants want survivors to feel a sense of healing and empowerment, for assailants to be held accountable and for policies to create real change.

Read the full story here.

(This story has a double byline with Natalie Pate and Abby Luschei of the Statesman Journal)

Willamette law professor one of few to interview detained children at U.S. border

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Few people have access to the immigrant children detained at the southern U.S. border.

Wendi Warren Binford, a Willamette University law professor from Salem, is one of them — part of a team of advocates allowed into the detention centers under the Flores Settlement, which was adopted by the federal government in the late 1990s.

Read the full story here.

Analysis: How teens are spearheading activism, debates on guns

Protesters call for stricter gun laws after Parkland, Florida, shooting. Photo by Natalie Pate, Statesman Journal

The youth of America are sending a very loud message — grownups are not doing their job.

From Parkland, Florida, to Washington, D.C., to Salem, Oregon, teenagers are speaking against gun violence in a way only they can.

Read the full analysis here.

Oregon schools: Diversity and absenteeism up, salaries and discipline down

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Oregon’s 2016-17 annual report card, released by the state’s Department of Education, shows the state is excelling at certain indicators and falling behind in others.

There was a more diverse workforce of teachers and administrators, but educators were being paid less, on average, than previous years.

Fewer suspensions and expulsions were issued, but there is still a disproportionate amount of discipline involving students of color.

The achievement gap between students of color and their white peers has decreased, while students in career technical education courses continue to graduate at higher rates.

And more students missed school than before.

Read the full story here.

Oregon’s Native American students face obstacles to stay in, complete school

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Native American students in Oregon are graduating at lower rates, performing worse on state assessments, attending fewer days and receiving more suspensions and expulsions than their peers, according to a report released by the Oregon Department of Education.

Experts believe a few key issues are causing these negative outcomes.

Read the full story here.

Student mental health crisis spurs Oregon to try in-school programs

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The pervasiveness of mental health issues and child suicide rates leads Oregon to rank as the worst state in the country for mental illness. And the state’s lack of child psychiatrists and school counselors leaves families waiting for months to get help.

This significantly reduces students’ odds of completing their education, ending up unemployed and adding long-term financial impact on the communities where they live.

But more subtle effects are felt, too, such as the persistent stigma associated with asking for help with mental health.

Though schools aren’t fully equipped to handle intense, mental health issues, some Oregon districts are starting to develop ways to bring services to students.

Read the full story here.

Gov. Kate Brown, Rep. Knute Buehler split on education strategies

accomplishment ceremony education graduation

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and her Republican challenger state Rep. Knute Buehler both want to increase school funding, lengthen the academic year, offer more college and career opportunities, increase graduation rates and diversify teaching staff.

But they differ in their proposed solutions and how long it will take to achieve success.

Read a breakdown of their platforms here.

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