STUDENT SUCCESS ACT UPDATE
Student Success Funds to Be Granted
Funding reduced due to pandemic • District set to receive $4.3 million to bolster student success in 2020–21 school year
Eugene School District 4J will soon secure new funding to support student success, particularly among groups of students that have been historically underserved.
The 4J school board has unanimously approved the district’s grant agreement with the Oregon Department of Education to receive Student Success Act funds during the 2020–21 school year—an amount reduced by two-thirds from initial estimates, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The district will now move forward with finalizing the grant agreement and drawing the funds from the state.
The Student Success Act, enacted by the 2019 Oregon Legislature, is the most significant infusion of public investment into Oregon’s K–12 educational system in decades. Its primary aim is to bolster academic achievement and reduce educational disparities for historically underserved groups of students—including students of color, students with disabilities, students who are learning English or economically disadvantaged—and better meet students’ behavioral or mental health needs.
Eugene School District 4J developed a thoughtful plan to invest Student Success Act funds in a planning process that included reviewing research, analyzing student data, and engaging extensive community input—including engagement with staff, students and families from historically underserved communities in public forums, small group meetings, online surveys, and targeted community events over several months in 2019–20—to inform development of the plan to best support student success. The school board approved the resulting plan last March.
4J’s full plan contains major initiatives to improve early reading skills, increase access and inclusion, extend after-school and summer school learning opportunities, support emergent bilingual students, reduce class sizes in targeted grades, provide full schedules for high schoolers, and add more mental health, behavioral and wraparound supports for students, all designed to achieve the stated goals of the Student Success Act.
In August, state lawmakers reduced the amount of grant funding that eligible school districts could expect to receive in the first year, in response to the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The district now expects to receive about $4.3 million (including funds for charter schools and indirect costs) in Student Investment Account funds—about one-third of the originally planned amount—during the first year of the new school funding.
4J will reduce the scope of implementation during the first year to account for the reduced level of funding. Some staff to support students’ wellbeing have already been added in anticipation of the funds, and most of the major initiatives contained in the plan still will be launched during the current school year, at a reduced scope.
Thank you to all who shared your insights and input about your perceptions, preferences and priorities to inform the plan's development. We look forward to the initial implementation and the future full funding of 4J's student investment plan.