Historic Investments in K-12 Education and Childcare

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Representative Susan McLain

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

During the 2023 legislative session, the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education, which I co-chair with Senator Lew Frederick, championed historic gains for Oregon’s K-12 schools and students. We also made critical investments in Oregon’s child care infrastructure to support working families. Yesterday, I joined a diverse group of Education advocates and policymakers for a bill signing ceremony with Governor Kotek. It was incredibly gratifying to see all the years of hard work and planning that Legislators and advocates did finally come to fruition. You can read more about our education and childcare investments in my "Legislative Updates" section in this newsletter.

After the ceremonial bill signing, I was invited to celebrate these achievements by the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA). OSEA is a member-driven union representing more than 22,000  workers in public schools, community colleges, libraries, parks and Head Starts. Their members are our classified school staff and they are the backbone of many activities, services, and classroom supports. OSEA and many other advocacy groups have been working tirelessly over the last several years to increase Education funding and improve outcomes for all students. Their work took on an elevated importance after the learning interruptions we saw during the last few years with the pandemic and the technological, social, and emotional challenges it brought. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank OSEA and all the other education advocates that joined us in work groups, came to testify, and pushed for every last dollar in the budget at the end of Session.  

While yesterday was a celebration of our successes, it also reminds me that there is still much more work to be done to improve educational outcomes in Oregon. I am committed to continuing  the work to ensure every child in Oregon has a safe, nurturing place to learn and grow at all ages from K-12 through Higher Education.

Governor's Bill Signing Ceremony


This week I was also thrilled to attend the launch of TITAN Freight Systems' new heavy-duty electric truck! TITAN will have three of the battery electric trucks in their lineup this Fall. Made by Daimler and built locally in our area, they will help facilitate our transition to zero-emission transportation in Oregon. I was proud to sponsor House Bill 3409 this Session, which appropriated $3 million for deposit in the Zero-Emission Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicle Incentive Fund. This allows Oregon to expand opportunities for electric trucks, which will be good for both the environment and the trucking industry.

Titan Freight Truck Launch


Click on the image below to register for the Town Hall. There is an option to list the topics you are interested in talking about and I encourage you to fill that out we know what issues are important to you. 

Joint Town Hall Flyer
SECTION HEADER: Legislative Updates


2023 Legislative Session Review Continued 

This week's review of Legislation from the 2023 Session is centered on the Education and Childcare bills that Governor Kotek signed into law yesterday. The work we’ve done this session will make Oregon’s schools stronger by: 

  • Fully funding Oregon’s K-12 schools with record investments that will ensure students are set up for success in the classroom. 
  • Attracting, retaining, and training talented educators to guarantee every kid graduates with basic life skills. 
  • Improving early reading skills in the classroom, which is shown to have long-term, positive impact on kids graduating from high school. 
  • Supporting students from diverse backgrounds so all kids–including LGBTQ+, Black and Brown students – feel safe at school.
  • Investing in Oregon’s early learning and child care infrastructure so parents don’t break the bank to keep their kids safe during the workday.

With these gains, Oregon kids will be set up for short and long-term success inside and outside the classroom for years to come. Here are the bills that just became law:

Record K-12 School Funding (House Bill 5015

  • HB 5015 makes a historic $10.2 billion investment in the K-12 State School Fund for the 2023-2025 biennium, nearly $1 billion higher than the current service level. 
    • When paired with local property tax revenues, total resources for K-12 schools for this biennium reach an unprecedented $15.3 billion. 
  • This record investment makes sure Oregon schools have the tools they need to set students and educators up for success in the classroom.
  • The State School Fund is the primary funding source for the general operations of school districts and education service districts, paying for needs including teacher salaries, textbooks, school supplies, desks and building maintenance. 
  • These 197 districts serve more than 552,000 Oregon students in K-12 schools.

Strengthening Oregon’s Educator Workforce (Senate Bill 283

  • SB 283 addresses Oregon’s K-12 educator workforce shortage. 
  • A key part of improving student success is making sure educators have good salaries, healthy working conditions, and the resources they need to help Oregon’s children learn. 
  • The bill helps increase training, give more competitive salaries, and improves support systems that will elevate educator workplace satisfaction and improve the school experience for students. 

Early Literacy Success Initiative (House Bill 3198

  • HB 3198, the Early Literacy Success Initiative, works to make sure every Oregon kid receives the most effective  reading instruction in Oregon classrooms. 
  • Funding for the initiative goes toward literacy coaching and professional development for educators, tutoring, developing curriculum, and summer learning programming. 
  • More than half of Oregonian third graders are not reading at the level they should be, with greater disparities in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People Of Color) and rural communities. 
  • Research shows that 75% of students who are not proficient by third grade will never fully catch up, with later interventions being more costly and less effective. 
  • Investing in early literacy has long-term positive impacts on state graduation rates, preventing dropouts and helping students succeed. 

Accessible, Affordable Child Care (House Bill 3005

  • Early learning and child care are critical to child development. But right now, every Oregon county is a child care desert, lacking quality and adequate care for infants and toddlers. 
  • Democrats responded this session with the $167 Million Early Childhood Budget Package to help address the cost-of-living crisis, reduce child poverty, and invest in working families. 
  • A part of this package, HB 3005 invests $50 million to make it easier to build, renovate, and expand child care and preschool facilities across the state. 
    • The bill increases the availability of child care by creating a grant and loan program within the Oregon Business Development Department (Business Oregon) to provide financial assistance to new child care programs or programs looking to grow capacity. 
    • Across Oregon, the costs to open and maintain child care services are too high for many providers. This financial boost makes it easier for new programs to open and existing programs to expand. 

Inclusive, Thriving Schools for All Students (House Bill 3144, House Bill 2281, Senate Bill 1050

Creating a safe, inclusive school environment that increases and supports student and educator diversity and helps close learning disparities among underrepresented students is a top priority for Democrats. 

  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Student Success Plan (HB 3144)
    • This addresses the academic opportunity gap hurting Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NH/PI) students.
    • The Oregon Department of Education reports that NH/PI students have the second highest drop rates among all races in Oregon and the highest rate of chronic absenteeism. 
    • We must make sure all students have the tools to succeed. HB 3144 increases parental engagement, encourages NH/PI students to join after-school activities, and improves NH/PI student literacy levels in K-3 levels.
  • Civil Rights Protections (HB 2281)
    • This makes sure civil rights are protected in schools by ensuring there is a designated civil rights coordinator within each school district. 
    • Coordinators will be tasked with efforts to prevent discrimination, providing guidance on civil rights issues, and monitoring compliance with state and federal laws. 
    • The passage of this bill comes in response to a notable surge in discrimination complaints within public education. Over the past few years, the Oregon Department of Education has observed a staggering 450% increase in discrimination complaints.
  • Ethnic Studies (SB 1050) 
    • In 2019, the Legislature passed two laws (House Bill 2023 and Senate Bill 664), ensuring the State Board of Education would establish standards for ethnic studies, as well as Holocaust and genocide studies. 
    • SB 1050 makes sure both of these standards are implemented at the same time and that school districts have the necessary support to do so. 
    • At a time when we are seeing books banned, a rise in anti-Semitism, and other vulnerable communities targeted and maligned, understanding and having an accurate telling of our history in our classrooms is critical so that these horrific events never happen again.




Bi-State Legislative Committee Meeting Held

Last Friday marked a return to regular Bi-State Legislative Committee meetings between Oregon and Washington after a break during our respective legislative sessions. As a reminder, each state has a legislative committee tasked with working toward replacing the I-5 Bridge. I am a Co-Chair of Oregon's Committee - the "Joint Committee on the Interstate 5 Bridge.During the official break in bi-state meetings, we continued to work hard on the I-5 Bridge replacement project, but most of that work took place within each state's legislative session. 

Now that both Legislatures are in interim periods, bi-state meetings will happen more frequently. Ongoing bi-state legislative involvement is essential to successfully complete the planning and design process and move to the construction phase of the new bridge. Direction from the bi-state legislative committee members shapes the program's work by providing the initial framework and guidance on developing critical program decisions, reviewing and providing feedback on progress, and evaluating outcomes.

During the meeting, the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program (IBR) team provided updates on recent activities including:

It was a very positive meeting and everyone appreciated the collaborative nature of the discussions. Both Oregon and Washington had success in moving the bridge project forward during their Legislative Sessions. Washington authorized tolling on the I-5 Bridge and Oregon committed $1 billion to match Washington State's contribution of $1 billion last year. Both actions make the replacement project much more competitive in the federal grant process because it demonstrates both a commitment and a plan for paying for a share of the bridge.  One of the most encouraging parts of the meeting was the agreement between Legislators and the IBR program team that we can and will stay on schedule! Below is a snapshot of the timeline we are working with.

Interstate Bridge replacement timeline

*You can watch the meeting and view the presentation by the IBR team here.




Congratulations to Special Olympics Oregon Athletes

Ron Tonkin Field

This past weekend, Hillsboro was host to the Special Olympics Oregon Summer Regional Softball and Bocci tournaments. I want to extend my congratulations to all of the athletes that participated in the regional tournament. I am ​always so ​proud to hear about the talented ways that  you represent our community.​  You are not only representing our community with strength and grace, but you represent the people of Oregon as well.

Special Olympics Oregon brings year-round sports training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Through the challenges and triumphs of real competition, we serve Oregon’s largest disability population by celebrating their abilities. And by competing, athletes experience life-changing opportunities to improve physical fitness, learn everyday life skills and connect more closely to their communities. They are always looking for volunteers and you can find more information here


Forest Grove Farmers' Market to Host Salsa Festival

The Adelante Mujeres Forest Grove Farmers Market will be hosting its yearly Salsa Fest competition once again! They will only be accepting 10 entries per category (mild or spicy), so make sure you sign up now! The last day for sign-ups is August 8th! 

You can click on the image below to register:

Adelante Farmers Market Salsa Fest


Paid Training Program Helps Launch Careers in Semiconductor Industry

This week it was announced that Intel is planning a massive Oregon factory expansion, which is welcome news in Western Washington County. This expansion will bring an influx of high-paying jobs that will be accessible to people across our community with varying levels of education. If you are interested in a career in the semiconductor industry but are not sure where to start, I recommend looking into the Quick Start to Semiconductors.

The Quick Start program is a fast-paced, paid training program preparing workers for careers in semiconductor fabrication. With funds from Washington County and the City of Hillsboro — and in partnership with Intel — the intensive 10-day course covers both theory and practical application.

Instruction is provided by Portland Community College at its Willow Creek Center in Hillsboro, and participants receive a $500 weekly stipend. Upon completion, graduates are qualified as semiconductor processing technician and are guaranteed an interview for entry-level technician positions with Intel. The skills and qualifications acquired through the program are also transferable to other semiconductor manufacturers.

Advanced manufacturing careers are open to all who are willing to learn and ready to work. 

Career opportunities are available for various education levels, including:

  • a high school diploma or GED
  • associate degrees and certificates
  • apprenticeships
  • internships
  • short-term training programs, such as the Quick Start program

Since October 2022, the Quick Start program has trained more than 110 individuals for careers in the semiconductor industry, with more than 70 percent of participants being women or people of color.

A new class starts every month, so it’s always a good time to apply. Simply click below to answer a few questions and complete an assessment. Once you have completed the assessment, someone from the WorkSource team will reach out to you to help you get started with getting enrolled.

Assessment link


Paid Leave Oregon Applications Open August 14

Employees who need to take time off for important life events can apply for benefits for Paid Leave Oregon starting Aug. 14, 2023.

Paid Leave Oregon covers paid family leave, medical leave, and safe leave for working Oregonians. Employees can apply for the following reasons:

  • To care for themselves or members of their family during the birth of a child, or to bond with a child after birth, adoption, or placement of a child in their home through foster care
  • To care for themselves during a serious health condition
  • To care for a family member when they have a serious health condition
  • If they or their child experience sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, or stalking

To apply for leave, employees will use the Oregon Employment Department’s (OED) new online system called Frances Online

The state Legislature created Paid Leave Oregon in 2019 (House Bill 2005), making Oregon one of 11 states (plus Washington D.C.) to offer paid family and medical leave. Oregon’s unique program also covers safe leave in addition to family and medical leave. Safe leave supports survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, or stalking so they can take time to seek safety.

In January 2023, employers and employees started contributing to a trust fund that will pay for employee paid leave benefits. During the 2023 legislative session, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 31, which requires OED to make sure the Paid Leave Oregon trust fund is solvent before launching benefits. 

Based on current trust fund data and projections, Employment Department leaders have decided the trust fund is ready to launch benefits the week of Sept. 3, as planned. This will be the first week employees can take paid leave, with payments going out within two weeks.

Detailed information for employees, including eligibility requirements, tutorial videos, a benefits calculator, and much more, will be available on the Paid Leave website on Aug. 14. Employees can now go to the employee overview page and find many resources, including a guidebook. 


OHCS Surpasses Goal of Funding 25,000 Affordable Rental Homes

Affordable Housing Logo

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) has surpassed its July 2019-’24 Statewide Housing Plan goal to triple the existing pipeline of affordable rental housing up to 25,000 homes after the Oregon Stability Council approved the most recent funding awards on July 7. This accomplishment was realized a year ahead of schedule and marks a significant milestone for the agency and its commitment to addressing the affordable housing crisis in Oregon.

In 2019, OHCS released a five-year Statewide Housing Plan outlining six priorities and goals based on community feedback throughout the state. Three of these priorities are related to increasing the supply of affordable housing:

  • Fund 1,200 units of permanent supportive housing
  • Triple the amount of affordable housing units funded in rural Oregon
  • Triple the existing amount of affordable rental housing to 25,000 homes

With a year left, OHCS has surpassed all three affordable housing goals.  

A new report,Reaching 25,000and the Statewide Housing Plan dashboard released today help showcase key data points and affordable housing development progress across the state. In 2016, OHCS funded nearly 800 affordable rental housing units. In 2022, the agency increased that rate by six-fold, funding 5,000 affordable rental housing units.

Despite historic production levels the pressing need for affordable housing continues to outpace production. Recently, Governor Tina Kotek, through Executive Order 2023-04, set a new goal for the state to produce 36,000 housing units annually over the next ten years. Of these, 18,000 units are mandated to be affordable for individuals earning at or below 80% of the area median income.

Do you need emergency housing or rental assistance? Visit the OHCS website by clicking the image below:


Rental Assistance


*Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is Oregon's housing finance agency, providing financial and program support to create and preserve opportunities for quality, affordable housing for Oregonians of lower and moderate income.


Important Announcements


Oregonians urged to activate credit monitoring following data breach

Following Performance Health Technology’s (PH TECH) announcement today that Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members are among those affected by a coordinated data hack, the state is urging OHP members to take steps to protect their personal information.

The data breach PH TECH announced today did not involve or compromise state systems.

PH TECH is a private vendor that provides services to many Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) to help manage OHP member data. The company said a security vulnerability from Progress MOVEit software resulted in a data breach because attackers were able to access the personal information of an estimated 1.7 million members.

PH TECH told state officials they conducted extensive forensic analysis through July 25. This analysis identified individuals who were affected so OHP members could be notified. PH TECH began mailing notification letters on July 31 to impacted individuals. The letters will include an offer of free credit monitoring.

OHP members are encouraged to:

  • Watch for additional information from PH in the mail and follow instructions to activate 12 months of free identity theft protection. OHP members will be contacted by regular first-class mail, not by phone or email.
  • Request a free credit report. OHP members have the right to request one free copy of their credit report from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) every year. OHP members may be able to request reports from one company every few months throughout the year. Credit reports and monitoring can help people identify signs of identity theft and stop thieves from using information for fraudulent purposes.
  • Contact PH TECH for assistance at 888-498-1602 or by going to https://response.idx.us/PHTECH for more information.

OHP members will also be able to receive ID theft recovery services via PH TECH at no cost, if needed.

SECTION HEADER: Important Resources


My office has compiled a list of resources for our community. You can click on the images below to open a document with the relevant links. If you know of a resource that should be included here, or you need a resource and are having trouble finding the information, please reach out to my office at rep.susanmclain@oregonlegislature.gov.


Wildfire Prevention Logo


Click hereor on the image to the right, for important resources related to wildfire prevention and recovery. This list includes links to current fire restrictions and recreation site status maps, the Oregon Department of Forestry's fire prevention tip page, and important resources for wildfire victims. 


Resources for Veterans


Click here, or on the image to the right, for a list of important resources for Veterans, including links and phone numbers to the various divisions of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, local Washington County assistance, supportive and community-based groups like the American Legion, and mental health resources.  


Education-related resources


Click here, or on the image to the right, for a list of Education-related resources. This includes links to the Forest Grove and Hillsboro School Districts, the Oregon and US Departments of Education, information on how to pay for college, student lunch programs, and much more!


State and Local Government Links


Click here, or on the image to the right, for links to important local and state government pages, including the Hillsboro, Forest Grove, and Cornelius city government pages. You can also access the Oregon Legislature's page, and other important state agency sites, like the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Unemployment Department, and the Oregon Health Authority.

Important Resources

Beautiful sunset at the Oregon Coast 

Oregon Coast


Yours truly,

McLain signature

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-489, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain