Tackling Oregon graduation rates is a complex issue, without one simple solution. One thing is for certain regarding communities across Oregon and our youth, we cannot repeatedly ignore the issue, nor can we continually try to address graduation rates using the same old approach.

Our children’s education must be made immediately relevant to their future, whether college or career bound. Their diploma is only the start to the rest of their lives, and the foundation for our communities continued success. That is why full funding of Measure 98 is essential. These funds are imperative to local districts to address local issues.

Over the past two years, Roseburg High School has focused its efforts to identify the barriers between students and graduation. Career Techinical Education has been revitalized, redesigned and rebuilt. Core areas have been scrutinized and aligned. Partnerships with and support of our community and industry have been forged.

New areas for growth in industry have been identified and with full funding of Measure 98, our students will have many more opportunities to obtain marketable 21st century skills our local industries are desperately asking for.

A new early warning system has been developed to identify students in need of supports in specific areas of their education and in many circumstances, their lives outside the boundaries of our campus. Our students need resources and support that many times are not required of or aligned to the Common Core. Full funding of Measure 98 provides the opportunity for specific resources and supports our children need to be successful learners.

Measure 98 opens the door for additional opportunities for college credit in all content areas of the high school campus. Concurrent credits have been identified as an essential factor for many of our students staying in school and completing their diploma requirements, keeping their dream of a college degree alive by earning college credit throughout their high school career.

Measure 98 funds are critical to local districts for our students, families and communities across the great state of Oregon.

Brett Steinacher is Assistant Principal at Roseburg Highschool.

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Education and Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Vera Westbrook is the education, nonprofits, and arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4216 or by email at vwestbrook@nrtoday.com.

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