Home arrow COSA Blogs arrow Funding Coalition offers recommendations on Chalkboard's proposals: What do you think?
Funding Coalition offers recommendations on Chalkboard's proposals: What do you think? Print E-mail

tim-labrousseby Tim Labrousse, Chair, OASE Funding Coalition and Kent Hunsaker, Executive Director, COSA

This is the first installment in a two-part blog seeking your comments on the OASE Funding Coalition’s recommendations about the Chalkboard Project’s proposals for improving Oregon schools.  This week, part one focuses on “Education Quality.”  Next week, part two will look at “Accountability & Funding.”

kent-hunsaker SALEM – After extensive review, the Funding Coalition of the Oregon Association of School Executives (OASE) has issued recommendations aimed at fine-tuning the Chalkboard Project’s recently-released proposals for improving Oregon schools.  (Please tell us what you think of the recommendations via the e-comment form at the end of this blog.)

The OASE Funding Coalition, a representative group of 44 school superintendents that studies issues related to K-12 finance and legislation, is supportive overall of Chalkboard’s proposals, with two very important conditions. First, we believe many of the proposals need to be modified, and our recommendations suggest in what ways.  Second, Chalkboard’s proposals require significant additional funding.  The OASE Funding Coalition won't support the proposals unless that additional funding – well above current rollup costs – is approved by the Legislature.

The Funding Coalition’s recommendations were developed during two lengthy sessions this spring.  The recommendations are made in the spirit of improving Chalkboard's proposals so that they can be effective and productive in assisting schools and the kids we serve.  Despite more than a decade of disinvestment in Oregon's K-12 systems, our schools have continued to get better, thanks to the commitment of teachers, classified employees, administrators, parents and, of course, students.  With the modifications we recommend and the additional funding to implement them, the Funding Coalition believes that Chalkboard's proposals can be a constructive force in bolstering Oregon's ongoing success with school improvement and student achievement.

Visit Chalkboard to view the proposals in their entirety and offer comment via a Chalkboard survey, and please be sure to join the conversation below.  Our experience is that Chalkboard takes public input seriously, as many of their proposals have already been modified based on input from COSA and other education groups.  We have invited Chalkboard to participate in this blog, and we will share your comments with them.

Here are the Chalkboard Project’s proposals and the Funding Coalition's recommendations.  They are presented here in the same order as Chalkboard’s list of proposals.  They do not reflect the priority the Funding Coalition places on each proposal. 

We’re very interested in your opinions.  Please lend your voice to this conversation (see e-comment form at the end of the proposals).



Chalkboard Proposal:  Provide each new teacher (and each new principal) with a mentor who will provide personalized support for their first three years.

The Funding Coalition supports additional funding for a research-based induction program/orientation program for new teachers/administrators.   Mentoring is an important part – but just one part – of a good induction/orientation program.  There are school districts that have effective programs already in place, and we recommend developing a comprehensive program based on those existing successes.


Chalkboard Proposal:  Enhance professional development for every teacher and administrator in Oregon.

The Funding Coalition supports additional funding for professional development for teachers and administrators.  To achieve student achievement and school performance goals, enhanced professional development is required.


Chalkboard Proposal:  Launch voluntary pilot programs in select schools to test new ways of evaluating and paying educators.  The pilot programs should include giving financial awards to schools when schools reach student achievement goals, and new individual pay structures that offer raises to teachers based on performance, not seniority.

The Funding Coalition supports pilot projects with financial incentives for National Board certification or other models of teacher excellence, and financial incentives for schools that improve student success outcomes.  The Funding Coalition does not support performance pay for individuals.  Visit Chalkboard for more about an “Information Day” related to this proposal.


Chalkboard Proposal: Reduce class sizes to 15 students in kindergarten and first grade.  Research in states such as Tennessee has shown that class sizes of no more than 15 in these two critical grades have a major impact on student achievement.

The Funding Coalition supports additional funding targeted to reduce class sizes in K-1 and provide full-day kindergarten. Class sizes for K-1 should be determined by local school districts, with a flexible class size goal (15-19 students, for example) to give districts the discretion they need to reasonably deal with facilities challenges (such as a shortage of classroom space and enrollment challenges (one class of 16 students versus two classes of 8 students, for example).  The Funding Coalition also supports additional professional development to train teachers to take advantage of lower class sizes.


Chalkboard Proposal:  Provide a reading tutor for every student who is not reading at grade level in grades K-3.

The Funding Coalition supports additional funding for comprehensive research-based interventions for K-3 literacy.  Tutoring is one intervention used in successful K-3 reading programs, but the appropriate intervention for each child is best determined through evidence-based practice.

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Gus Forster, June 06, 2006
A number of recommendations listed above are directly related. If class size in K-1 can be reduced to level recommended by the Chalkboard or Funding Coalition, I believe you will find fewer academic and behavior issues in the intermediate grades, and therefore less emphasis on the Reading Tutor proposal. Again, reducing class size is the key. I would be in suport of the Professional Development proposal if and only if a clear definition of what professional development is and what the dollars can be used for i.e. I was informed by ODE that the COSA summer conference did not meet the definition of professional development and therefore Title 11 A dollars that are allocated for teacher and administrator quality could not be used. Mentoring, I support the Funding Coalitions recommendation why waste additional time and resources researching a practice that many district have in place and are effective. I do not have a full understanding of the Chalkboard project- however with some of the aforemenioned proposal it sounds like they would buy a hammer for $200 like the military.

written by Art Johns, June 07, 2006
In the early 70's a merit pay option was available in some districts including the one in which I began my teaching career. It faltered in part because of the political aspects of teaching to the administrator not the kids. Objective merit pay is a very elusive and a constantly moving target. Class size initiatives, as with most other proposals, will take money to implement. Even with the governor's proposed budget I doubt we will have the funds to implement. If after implementation we face another recession will we not just lose what we gained? Thank-you to the chalkboard project for taking on these, and many other issues.

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This page was last updated on Monday, June 05, 2006 .