LWVOR Legislative Action must be based on advocacy positions formed through studies and member consensus. We’ve excerpted both LWVOR and LWVUS Positions relating to Education here.
LWVOR POSITIONS RELATING TO EDUCATION have been excerpted from Issues for Action http://lwvor.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Issues-for-Action-November-2016-for-WEB-TOC.pdf
Regarding School District Financing, the League of Women Voters of Oregon believes: The major portion of the cost of public schools should be borne by the state. The state should provide sufficient funds to give each child an equal, adequate education. All specifically state mandated programs should be financed by the state. Local districts should be allowed funding alternatives to provide educational programs. Apart from state mandates, local control of the educational programs should be maintained. A stable state system for financing public schools is crucial for long range planning. (Education funding in Oregon has a complex history, see a more complete overview in Issues for Action.)
LWVOR Children at Risk Position Statement 2015 relating to Early Learning The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes that the early years of a child’s life are crucial in building the foundation for educational attainment and greatly impact success or failure in later life. Early intervention and prevention measures are effective in helping children reach their full potential. The League supports policies, programs, and funding at all levels of the community and government that promote the well-being, encourage the full development, and ensure the safety of all children. These include:
- Nutrition and food access for vulnerable children and families
- Access to affordable, safe, and stable housing
- Early screening (physical, dental, mental, and behavioral) for all children; early prenatal care and ongoing health care for children (physical, mental, dental)
- Access to affordable, quality child care (see LWVOR Child Care position) Access to early literacy and pre-school programs, including but not limited to Early Head Start and Head Start
- Programs for mental health and addictions treatment for parents
- Family support, including but not limited to home visiting, parenting classes, and family relief nurseries
- Comprehensive services for children with developmental and cognitive disabilities
- Use of evidence-based practices in child welfare and foster care
- Programs to reduce poverty by providing parents with assistance in job training and education Policies and legislation to reduce racial or ethnic minority status inequities
The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes that governments, at all levels, have a responsibility to oversee and coordinate a comprehensive network of services to maximize children’s readiness to be successful in school while optimizing available resources.
Additional LWVOR Positions relating to Education include:
- The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes that child care is a social and economic issue that reaches beyond the family into the community. Quality child care needs to be available, accessible and affordable to all families for children of all ages and with differing needs.
- The League of Women Voters supports a diverse child care system to accommodate different parental choices and needs. Such a system may include day care centers, group homes, and family day care homes. The State of Oregon should establish appropriate standards to ensure that highquality care exists in all settings. For centers and group homes: these standards should address facilities, staff qualifications, and number of children served. Program, parent/care giver communication, administration and transportation should be included for centers and may also be considered for group homes. There should be flexible guidelines for family day care homes because of the unique character of these facilities. The State of Oregon should enforce mandatory regulations by funding a sufficient number of inspectors. The State of Oregon should set requirements for adequate training for care givers and ensure those training opportunities are available. This could include state provision of training and/or state incentives for others to provide training. City and county governments should participate in enforcing health and fire standards.
- Affordable child care should be available and accessible for children with differing needs and in various age groups. While parents have the primary responsibility for choosing child care, a coordinated effort between parents and government, together with providers, employers, and private groups is necessary to deliver quality child care at an affordable price. The State of Oregon should: Provide financial assistance for child care expenses to low- and middle income families based on need. Such assistance could include tax credits for parents with a ceiling based on income. Support resource and referral programs. Encourage employer involvement in the child care system. Encourage development of school-age child care programs. Parents in job training, in school, with special-needs children and/or needing respite care services should be eligible for financial assistance for child care based on demonstrated need.
- Child care givers should be awarded recognition commensurate with their responsibilities. The State of Oregon should take a leadership role in elevating the professional status of child care givers and ensuring adequate compensation.
- The League of Women Voters of Oregon supports development of required curriculums for all school districts relative to teen pregnancy and parenting, accompanied by implementation requirements, which covers, but is not limited to, the following areas: comprehensive, age-appropriate family life sexuality education K-12, parenting skills education, specialized education programs for pregnant teens and teenage parents, and teacher training at the baccalaureate level and as continuing education.
- The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes the primary goal of Oregon’s public postsecondary education should be to provide a broad spectrum of higher education for professional, vocational, and personal enrichment to all qualified and motivated individuals.
- Oregon needs a strong, high-quality system of higher education. State funding must reflect this need, and high priority should be given to providing sufficient funds to improve the general excellence of the state system. In order to attract and retain quality faculty, salaries and research opportunities should be appropriately competitive. Adequate funding should also be provided to ensure complete, up-to-date libraries and to maintain or upgrade the physical plants at all of our colleges and universities. It is imperative that in our institutions we have good fiscal management accountability for the funding provided. League members feel that the roles and interrelationships of the present regional colleges, specialized institutions, and research universities are properly balanced.
- The primary role of community colleges should be in the areas of: Vocational-technical training; Developmental education (e.g. high school equivalency, English as a second language); Lower division college courses. Community adult education (hobby and recreation courses) should have a secondary role and must be self-supporting as defined by statute. Community colleges should maintain an open door policy. If funding necessitates limiting access: Such limitation should be geographic, i.e. higher tuition for out-of-district students; Academic or financial limitations are the least desirable.
LWVUS POSITIONS RELATING TO EDUCATION can be found at http://lwv.org/content/impact-issues-online-edition and include:
- Education, Employment and Housing: Support equal access to education, employment and housing.
- Early Intervention for Children at Risk: Support policies and programs that promote the wellbeing, development and safety of all children.
- The League supports many federal education programs, some designed to meet the special educational needs of the poor and minorities and others to give women and minorities equal education opportunities.
- Vocational education programs have significant impact on employment, particularly for women who have difficulty gaining access to training programs for higher paying jobs. In addition, the LWV promotes the enrollment of girls and young women in math and science courses to prepare them for the jobs of the future.
- The League has been outspoken in supporting affirmative action programs and policies.
- League supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), designed to restore the ADA to its original intent and ensure coverage for disabled Americans in all aspects of society.
- League recognizes that diversity in higher education is crucial for the success of our multi-racial democracy.
- The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the federal government shares with other levels of government the responsibility to provide equality of opportunity for education, employment and housing for all persons in the United States regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation or disability. Employment opportunities in modern, technological societies are closely related to education; therefore, the League supports federal programs to increase the education and training of disadvantaged people.
- League supports: Programs in basic education, occupational education and retraining when needed at any point of an individual’s working career; Expanded opportunities in apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs; Child-care centers for preschool children to give parents the opportunity for employment; Greatly increased educational opportunity through compensatory programs for disadvantaged groups beginning at the preschool level and extending through secondary education; Federal financial aid to help needy students remain in high school and to take advantage of post-high school training and education; Programs that would inform individuals of their civil rights in education, employment and housing, and of the opportunities open to them.
- League will support those programs that largely fulfill the following criteria: The nationwide effort to achieve equality of opportunity in education and employment should include participation of government at all levels and encourage the participation of private institutions; Programs should be carefully tailored to the educational or employment needs of the people they are intended to reach; People for whom community action programs are designed should be involved in the planning and implementation of those programs; The programs should be carried out by personnel competent to meet the specific requirements of their jobs; Programs should assist people to become self-supporting, contributing members of society; The programs should be nondiscriminatory with provisions for enforcement.
- The League of Women Voters believes that the federal government shares with other levels of government the responsibility to provide an equitable, quality public education for all children pre-K through grade 12. A quality public education is essential for a strong, viable, and sustainable democratic society and is a civil right.
- The League believes that the role of the federal government should include the following: Provide leadership and vision to promote a quality education for all children; Provide broad common standards developed by educational experts upon which states and local education agencies can build; Provide a suggested curricular structure or framework as a guide to state and local education agencies to develop their own curricula; Provide a national assessment that clearly informs teachers, parents and students about how well individual students have mastered criteria established at the national level; Provide a national assessment that informs districts how well their populations compare to other populations similar to theirs; and Provide a combination of competitive grants and non-competitive funding to states and local school districts to achieve equity among states and populations.
- The League of Women Voters believes that an equitable, quality public education is critical for students. While the League recognizes that there are instances where the federal government’s involvement is the only way to achieve universal change (desegregation, special needs population, gender equity), we also recognize that primary responsibility for public education resides with the states. In accordance with the League of Women Voters’ position on Equal Rights, the League continues to support equity in public education for all through: Broad guidelines for accountability, leaving implementation to the state and local education agencies; Adequate funding sources that support the broad goals of national standards; and Mechanisms for local and state funding with adequate federal support for mandates that require less burdensome, compliance-based reporting and regulations.
- The League believes that the federal government should be primarily responsible for funding any programs mandated by the federal government on local education agencies. Although the League recognizes equity in education depends on meeting basic human needs of children and of their families, the costs associated with providing equitable access to safe neighborhoods and secure housing do not belong in the education budget. Major programs of federal funding for public education (i.e., Elementary and Secondary Education Act) should be targeted toward children living in poverty and/or children with special needs. The federal government has the responsibility to monitor and support access to the following: High quality teaching and learning, supported by quality current learning materials and well maintained educational facilities; and Access to health care needs i.e., hearing, vision, dental, immunization, school-based health clinics at the secondary level, etc.) and nutritionally adequate food (i.e., school-based meals under “free and reduced meal programs”).
- The League of Women Voters believes that the first five years of a child’s life are crucial in building the foundation for educational attainment and greatly impact success or failure in later life. Additionally, the League believes quality, developmentally appropriate and voluntary early learning experiences should be available to all children, with federally funded opportunities going first to children of poverty and/or with special needs. The League believes that the federal government should support the following: Early childhood education programs that include funding for parent education and involve child development, health, nutrition and access to other supportive services such as mental health care for all children and their families; Research that documents quality early childhood education programs; and Research that demonstrates the importance of linking state and local community partnerships with effective early childhood education programs and services.
- In order to prevent or reduce poverty, the LWVUS supports policies and programs designed to: increase job opportunities; increase access to health insurance; provide support services such as child care and transportation; provide opportunities and/or incentives for basic or remedial education and job training.
- The League supports financial assistance to low-income families for child care; increased the availability of child care through resource and referral programs and training for child-care workers; and required states to establish health and safety standards for day care.
- The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that early intervention and prevention measures are effective in helping children reach their full potential. The League supports policies and programs at all levels of the community and government that promote the well-being, encourage the full development and ensure the safety of all children. These include: child abuse/neglect prevention; teen pregnancy prevention; quality health care, including nutrition and prenatal care; early childhood education; developmental services, emphasizing children ages 0-3; family support services; violence prevention.