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  PANDEMIC   Summer school programs  

Story by Morgan Romero - Story Source
Published on Tuesday March 16, 2021 - 2:55 AM

"If we do it, it'll be one of the most remarkable moments in Oregon's history dealing with the education of its children," Senate President Peter Courtney said.

SALEM, Ore. — With Oregon students getting back into classrooms this spring, lawmakers are looking to the summer to help them learn and have fun again.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Rep. Tina Kotek announced the Summer Learning and Child Care Package last week, a $250 million proposed plan to help students recover from the academic and social-emotional challenges they've faced during the pandemic.

The package focuses on equity for historically under-served and marginalized communities of color hit hardest the past year.

State leaders testified in support of the plan in front of the Joint Ways & Means Subcommittee on Education on Monday afternoon and urged other state legislators to get behind it.

"Our children are bearing larger burdens than lost learning time. From pre-K through high school, they're surviving a pandemic with all the pain, stress and isolation that entails," Gov. Brown told the committee. "As more children return to classrooms we expect more issues will come to light. Students need academic enrichment opportunities this summer, there's no question about that. But to help our children get back on track we also have to make sure we're attending to their most basic needs."

Senate President Peter Courtney told the committee that the aim is a balance of fun, learning, and support.