School board members seek renewal of key funding programs for schools and special education.

Several Washington County school board members were in Washington, D.C. this week to plead for more education funding from lawmakers.

More than a dozen school board members from across Oregon attended a National School Board Association convention in Washington D.C., last weekend, learning about advocacy training and networking with other school board members from across the country.

According to the Oregon School Boards Association, which organized the trip, 17 school board members from across the state sat down with Oregon's congressional delegation on Tuesday, Jan. 29, to ask for an update to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which helps fund special education programs as well as update the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, which provides school funding to replace lost timber revenue.

Three of the school board members came from Washington County's three largest school districts.

Hillsboro School Board vice-chairwoman Kim Strelchun, along with Maureen Wolf, vice-chair of the Tigard-Tualatin School Board and secretary-treasurer with the Oregon School Board Association's board of directors attended the trip, as did former OSBA president and Beaverton School Board member LeeAnn Larsen.

OSBA Board President Tass Morrison, who serves on the North Santiam School Board, said the board members asked legislators how they could do more to support legislation to help students and schools.

"They said we could send them data, but what they really wanted were our stories, what's working, what's not working," Morrison said.

Other Portland-area school board members included Gresham-Barlow's Kris Howatt, Parkrose School District's Sonja McKenzie, West Linn-Wilsonville's Betty Reynolds, Portland Public Schools board members Paul Anthony and Rita Moore and Reynolds School District's Yesenia Delgado and Ricard Ruiz.

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