Eater PDX: 10 Food Bills to Follow in Oregon’s 2023 Legislative Session

The 2023 Oregon legislative session kicked off on Jan. 17 in Salem. Over the next five months, lawmakers will consider hundreds of proposed bills, many of which could impact how people access, handle, produce, and consume food. Here’s a look at 10 food-related bills to follow this session. Read the story here.

Learning to Read Behind the Fence: The path to prison is often paved by illiteracy. Yet many prisoners aren’t being taught to read

About 15% of adults in Oregon prisons read below an eighth-grade level, an analysis by the Statesman Journal found. Nationwide, an estimated 70% or more of incarcerated people can’t read at the fourth-grade level. It’s not clear whether Oregon prisoners are actually more literate since there is no state-by-state comparative data or federal oversight. Corrections officialsContinue reading “Learning to Read Behind the Fence: The path to prison is often paved by illiteracy. Yet many prisoners aren’t being taught to read”

Behavioral incidents spiked in Salem-Keizer schools as discipline measures changed. How is the district responding?

Dec. 2022: An investigation by the Statesman Journal found that throughout the 2021-22 school year, major disciplinary incidents — including physical threats, fights, computer misuse, sexual harassment and other aggressive behaviors — increased in Salem-Keizer Public Schools by nearly 55% compared to 2018-19, the last year students were in person full time. Simultaneously, expulsions inContinue reading “Behavioral incidents spiked in Salem-Keizer schools as discipline measures changed. How is the district responding?”

Despite more teachers and fewer students, Oregon schools still struggle with staff shortages

Oct. 2022: Starting before the pandemic and continuing over the past few years, schools and education advocates in Oregon and nationwide have rung the alarm bells about a growing teacher shortage. They’ve cited low pay, a negative perception of public education, increased workloads and a long list of requirements outside their job descriptions. But anContinue reading “Despite more teachers and fewer students, Oregon schools still struggle with staff shortages”

Nightmare Factory: The annual extravaganza is more than a haunted house for the Oregon School for the Deaf

Oct. 2022: After being closed for two years due to COVID-19 restrictions, Salem’s premier haunted house is back. But the Nightmare Factory isn’t any ordinary haunted house. It also serves as a learning opportunity for students and a key funding source for the Oregon School for the Deaf, the only dedicated school in the stateContinue reading “Nightmare Factory: The annual extravaganza is more than a haunted house for the Oregon School for the Deaf”

In-person school board meetings in doubt after investigation

Sept. 2022: Yelling during public testimony, arguments between attendees and board members, and an altercation in the parking lot at the Aug. 9 Salem-Keizer Public Schools board meeting led to an indefinite virtual-only option for public participation. This is the second time in two years that Salem-Keizer has made meetings virtual out of safety concerns not relatedContinue reading “In-person school board meetings in doubt after investigation”

District rejects second book ban request, keeps ‘Gender Queer’ in local high schools

July 2022: A second request to have a book removed from Salem-Keizer Public Schools libraries has been denied. Earlier this year, members of the local parents’ group Salem Keizer We Stand Together took issue with the book “Stamped (for Kids): Racism, Anti-Racism, and You” in local elementary schools. A district book review committee voted 8-1Continue reading “District rejects second book ban request, keeps ‘Gender Queer’ in local high schools”

No, Salem-Keizer did not allow a student who identifies as a cat to bring a litter box to school

Sept. 2022: Across the country, from New York to Iowa and Texas, false rumors about students identifying as cats and using litter boxes swept through districts this spring. The New York Times, USA TODAY, Politifact, Reuters and Snopes, among other publications, wrote articles confirming the claims were unfounded. Yet it seems the rumor has reached Oregon,Continue reading “No, Salem-Keizer did not allow a student who identifies as a cat to bring a litter box to school”

Oregon transgender student’s advice to LGBTQ youth: ‘Find your people’

Aug. 2022: Billie Henderson, 20, is about to begin her junior year at Willamette University in Salem. She’s among thousands of LGBTQ students nationwide returning to classrooms at a time when lawmakers and activists are pushing to ban or limit their rights in K-12 schools and beyond. Students and supporters are preparing themselves and pushing schools to doContinue reading “Oregon transgender student’s advice to LGBTQ youth: ‘Find your people’”