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Salem, OR - More than 200 Oregon CSE activists traveled from across the state to Salem to lobby their legislators in support of more school choice. In particular, they urged policymakers to support revisions to strengthen the state’s charter school law, as well as to support the Oregon School Accountability Enhancement Act, which would give local school districts the flexibility to opt out of the state’s current “one-size-fits-all” accountability system and choose another nationally recognized test.
Our activists traveled hours by bus to reach Salem and were educated along the way on our issues by CSE policy staff. Each activist was given a binder that contained talking points on both state bills as well as on President Bush’s proposal to “Leave No Child Behind,” and a copy of CSE’s statement of principles of education reform. CSE member and high-tech entrepreneur Craig Berkman was our featured luncheon speaker, and he told our activists “This country and this state desperately need innovation and choice if the public school system is to survive.” Nick Weller, our coalition ally and a senior policy analyst at the Cascade Policy Institute, also spoke about the need for more school choice in Oregon.
Armed with materials and facts about the issue, our activists converged on the Capitol for some good old-fashioned grassroots lobbying. Over the course of the day, Oregon CSE activists visited legislators more than 400 times in an effort to get them on record in support of school choice.