Council on Foundations, 2007


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Chalkboard Project – an initiative of Foundations For A Better Oregon – is sponsored by a growing list of independent Oregon foundations. We were formed by five of Oregon's largest foundations, and now receive support from 20, mostly Oregon-based, foundations and charitable funds. Six foundations that provide the majority of our funding are represented on our board of directors. Our six leading foundations are: The Collins Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, JELD-WEN Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation.

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Council on Foundations, 2007

  1. 1. Inspiring Oregonians… to do what it takes to make our schools among the nation’s best. Council on Foundations Annual Conference • May 1, 2007
  2. 2. Foundations for a Better Oregon An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon
  3. 3. Foundations for a Better Oregon Additional funders: ADEC The Bend Foundation Bowerman Advised Fund, OCF Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation Fred Meyer Foundation Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation John Gray Charitable Fund, OCF Ned and Sis Hayes Family Fund, OCF Nancy Horstkotte Memorial Fund, OCF Intel Corporation WK Kellogg Foundation Mann-Crawford Charitable Fund, OCF James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation JELD-WEN Tradition Foundation Ann & Bill Swindells Charitable Foundation Whipple Foundation Fund, OCF Woodard Family Foundation An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon
  4. 4. An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon
  5. 5. Long-term action plan An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon
  6. 6. 2007 Chalkboard legislative priorities based on proven practices • Ensure educator excellence • Create early learning success • Increase efficiency, accountability and savings through better financial practices • Strengthen school funding An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon
  7. 7. THE ISSUES:  Highly qualified teachers are critical to raising student achievement  Oregon loses 37% of its new teachers within the first five years, at a cost of $45 million per year Chalkboard’s response: • Provide each new teacher and principal with mentors • Establish statewide public/private partnership (Oregon Collaborative for Educational Excellence) to strengthen ongoing professional development for educators An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon
  8. 8. THE ISSUES:  Students must be readers by the end of third grade or face long odds in school and life  Oregon class sizes are among the highest in the nation  Less than one-third of Oregon fourth-graders are proficient at reading, according to a national exam Chalkboard’s response: • Reduce class size to 15 in K-1 • Provide a reading tutor to every child not reading at grade level in K-3 • Provide placeholder funding for future middle/high school interventions An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon
  9. 9. THE ISSUES:  40% of Oregonians believe schools already have all the money they need, and just need to be more efficient  Oregon spends 60% more than the national average on school business operations, and has higher per-student transportation costs than other Western states Chalkboard’s response: • Enhance the Open Book$ Web site ( to show citizens how districts spend money • Identify and share best financial practices with all districts, and monitor districts regularly • Restructure transportation funding formula to encourage more busing cost efficiency An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon
  10. 10. THE ISSUE:  Oregon has one of the most unstable school funding structures in the country  82% of Oregonians agree that funding instability is an obstacle to school success Chalkboard’s response: • Double the size of the state’s school stability fund, and use a combination of sources, including the corporate “kicker,” to fill it • Establish a guaranteed level of per-student spending that maintains current services and invests in more research- proven practices An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon
  11. 11. Meanwhile, we’re also working on . . . • Enhancing the Open Book$ Web site ( • Continuing efforts to better connect parents and other citizens with schools through grants and partnerships • Continuing research on long-term priorities, such as charter school enhancements, open enrollment and school funding structure/tax reform An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon
  12. 12. Pilot projects of promising practices CLASS Project Creative Leadership and Student Success • Grants awarded to 3 school districts in March to test new career paths and salary structures for teachers • Sherwood • Forest Grove • Tillamook • Planning through summer; implementation to begin fall 2007 • Possible second round of grants fall 2007 An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon
  13. 13. Foundations for a Better Oregon Foundation Collaboration Media Relations Education Reform Initiatives Lobbying and Government Relations Public Involvement/ Civic Engagement Best Practices Research Stakeholder Relations An Initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon