2016 Legislative Wrap Up

 Dear Virtual School Parents,

The State Legislature adjourned the 2016 legislative session earlier this month.  But during the short session, virtual public schools were once again the target of state policymakers who don’t understand this important education option.

Legislation introduced by State Rep. Susan McLain would have created a study to evaluate virtual public schools.  Virtual public schools have faced more scrutiny than any other public school and are without question the most transparent and accountable schools in Oregon.  Our schools must comply with dozens of rules over and above those that apply to traditional brick and mortar public schools.  

Thousands of Oregon families have found success for their children in virtual public schools. It’s a vital part of our public school system that gives kids who need an alternative to the traditional classroom a place to get a quality education. But Rep. McLain’s virtual school study bill would have opened the door for opponents of parent choice to limit our access to schools that work for our kids. 

We called on parents to help us defeat this bill.  And you did!  Virtual school parents sent emails and made phone calls to legislators urging them to oppose even more scrutiny of virtual schools. Your voice was heard in the State Capitol!  The House Education Committee held a hearing on this bill, but due to the overwhelming response from parents, the bill never found enough support to advance through the committee!

While we were able to defeat this threat, we need to remain vigilant about protecting virtual public schools.  Our opponents will continue to look for ways to target our schools.  We can’t understand why giving a small number of kids access to a public education in an environment better suited to their needs is so threatening to some. But with your help and through education and coordinated advocacy, we can continue to make a difference for Oregon’s virtual school students.

If you’re motivated to protect this choice for your family and others and you’d like to get more active in our effort, please email us at info@oregonvirtualschools.org.  Parents are a powerful political force, and we will not let our voice be silenced.

Thank you for your help and support.

Jennifer Kambas