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Bonamici speaks out on tax plan, and Future Connect is a success for PCC students.

COURTESY: PCC - PCC Future Connect students with Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read.Bonamici speaks out on Republican tax plan

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Beaverton, along with nearly 50 other Democratic lawmakers, signed a joint letter urging that the Republican tax plan change to support public schools and investments in higher education.

"This partisan tax proposal will have irreversible and lasting consequences for the future of K-12 and higher education," the letter reads. "We urge you to abandon partisan ideology on tax reform to support improved educational opportunity. … Republicans and Democrats agree that access to quality education is essential in empowering all working families to achieve the American dream. We urge you to ensure that federal tax code reflects this shared belief."

In the letter released Friday, Dec. 8, the lawmakers point to improvements that could be made in the area of K-12 public education, including equitable access to quality education, supporting educators, and making higher education affordable and accessible.

To read the entire letter, go to

PCC's Future Connect a success for students

A new report from Education Northwest assesses the efficacy of Future Connect, a Portland Community College scholarship program for low-income and first-generation students in the Portland area.

The report found that Future Connect has boosted college completion and transfer rates by 11 percent, and that 90 percent of Future Connect students said that Future Connect helped them in achieving their goals.

Future Connect targets high school students in the Portland Metro area, setting them up with a support system throughout their time at PCC.

"At first, I thought going to PCC was not a good idea because I wanted to go straight to a four-year university like other students I know," said Beaverton resident Leslie Gonzalez Vasquez, who is studying to be a nurse. "Looking back now, I am thankful to have come to PCC because of the guidance and support of Future Connect. It has helped throughout my transition to college by having a coach to help me with the obstacles I encountered."

Education Northwest's report also found that Future Connect students earned an average 2.5 grade-point average and 27 credits in their first year; 91 percent of Future Connect students returned for a second semester after their first term at PCC; and that Future Connect boosted students' GPAs by 0.6 points on average.

Blair Stenvick
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