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Aim of funds from passed measure is for students' college and career readiness

The Woodburn School Board approved a supplemental budget for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year. The budget included funding the school district will receive as part of Measure 98.

"This funding means that we can expand our partnerships with area businesses and colleges to provide opportunities for our students after they graduate," Superintendent Chuck Ransom said in a press release.

In 2016, Oregon voters approved Measure 98, also known as the High School Graduation and College and Career Readiness Act. The purpose of the ballot measure was to provide additional funding for dropout prevention, allow students to earn college credit while in high school, and enhance career and technical programs.

The Woodburn School District is anticipating approximately $800,000 from the state this year, and another $800,000 for the following school year. Since last August, the school district has created a plan and proposed budget for the funding with input and support of several key stakeholder groups, such as the Mid-Willamette Education Consortium and the campus Career and Technical Education teaching team.

The plan calls for enhancing the school district's Career and Technical Education programs, as well as strengthening its College and Career Center to improve student college retention. Dropout prevention is an important focus for the school district and community. Funding will be used to help middle school students transition to high school, and provide summer work-study opportunities.

Neighboring school districts also have received funding through Measure 98. Ransom says that he has been in discussions with other superintendents about how to pool resources for greater benefit.

"It doesn't make sense for all of us to be duplicating the same programs," he said. "There is a real opportunity for us to collaborate and stretch these tax dollars further for the benefit of our kids and communities."

While the school board approved receiving the funds, the programming is in its initial phases. The school district plans to reach out to community and business leaders, area colleges, and others to build postsecondary partnerships for students that improve opportunities for employment or college after graduation.

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