The Stand-Driven Measure, which was Previously only Half-Funded, is Already Raising Graduation Rates in Oregon


Portland, OR, May 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For Immediate Release

May 21, 2019


Media contact:

Jessica Mayorga




Stand for Children Oregon (Stand) is celebrating a significant victory today as Governor Kate Brown signed the Student Success Act into law yesterday. The landmark legislation fully funds Stand-driven Ballot Measure 98, which is raising graduation rates and improving education outcomes through targeted investments in career-technical education (CTE), dropout prevention strategies, and dual credit opportunities in high schools across the state.


Stand for Children Oregon’s executive director, Toya Fick, is one of the chief petitioners and author of Measure 98. She also led her team in campaigning for the Measure, which passed with 1.2 million votes in 2016. Ms. Fick helped protect the policy as it made its way through the Oregon legislature, and was a pivotal force in securing an initial round of funding in 2018, and ultimately full funding today.


“With the stroke of Governor Brown’s pen, a promise that more than 1.2 million Oregonians made to our high school students became a reality today,” Ms. Fick said. “What’s more, our state is fundamentally embracing a new, and far more positive, direction for education.”


Ms. Fick helped design Measure 98 around what was known to raise graduation rates. Despite the state’s 79 percent average graduation rate, Oregon students exposed to one full credit of CTE graduate at nearly 93 percent, and students exposed to on-track dropout prevention programs graduate at 92 percent. Research also shows that students in Oregon who participate in accelerated learning are more likely to graduate high school (93 to 53 percent), enroll in college (63 to 24 percent), and persist in college (49 to 13 percent) compared to their peers who did not participate (Hodara & Pierson, 2018).


“The Student Success Act is the single largest investment in education in Oregon’s history, with nearly $2 billion in vital investments in addition to full Measure 98 funding, which will lower class sizes, expand access to early childhood education, provide behavioral supports for students, and much more,” Ms. Fick continued. “Today is more than just the end of our stagnant graduation rates and unacceptable education outcomes. Today is the day we begin writing a new narrative in Oregon in which every child, regardless of background or circumstance or zip code, receives a quality education that prepares them for life beyond the classroom.”


“It’s thrilling to see Measure 98 get full funding today,” Ben Stern, a freshman at Grant High School said. “Measure 98 is already completely changing high schools for the better, and now we will have even more opportunities to learn career-related skills in our CTE courses. We also benefit from more counselors to support us, and college-level classes to give us a jump start on a degree if we want one. It doesn’t always seem like politicians focus on the needs of the students, but I’m glad they did today!”



Students and Stand for Children representatives are available for interviews and to provide additional information.


About Stand for Children:

Stand for Children is a non-profit education advocacy organization focused on ensuring all students receive a high-quality and relevant education - especially those whose boundless potential is overlooked and under-tapped because of their skin color, zip code, first language, or disability.


We make an impact by:

  • Partnering with parents to support their child's education journey, and to become strong advocates
  • Advocating for proven policies and funding, primarily focused on helping students reach make-or-break milestones of:
    • Reading well by the end of the third grade and
    • Graduating high school ready for college, a career, or both
  • Ensuring the changes we fight for reach classrooms and directly support students


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