Recently, Stand For Children has been trying to gain access to school buildings in order to promote a ballot measure they're sponsoring, Initiative Petition 65. The proposal promises to improve graduation rates by promoting career technical education (CTE). As educators, we all want to see Oregon's graduation rates go up, but Stand for Children's proposal will actually do more harm than good.
Educators, particularly CTE staff, should understand the fatal flaws with IP 65.
IP 65 doesn't bring new revenue into education. Instead, it locks the state into CTE spending without any consideration of local needs. Worse, it creates a system of winners and losers. School districts will be forced to compete for limited dropout prevention funds, putting smaller districts at a significant disadvantage.
Research shows that lowering dropout rates require an investment in education -- to lower class size, increase learning time, and bring back music, art, shop, PE, counseling, and free extra-curricular activities. But without new revenue sources, IP 65 can't solve the root of the problem.
IP 65 is budgeting through the ballot box, giving rich special interests even more clout and undermining our democracy. It's the wrong answer to a very real problem.