Position Statement: Education

School Budget (1977)

The League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties believes that citizens should have more direct influence on the content of school budgets. This should be accomplished by involving the public early in the budget planning process at the beginning of the school year. 

The Local School Advisory Committees should provide the machinery for communication between the public and the School Board and need to be involved in the budget-making process. The school administration needs to assure public participation early in the budget process. 

The League supports legislative efforts to stabilize Oregon public school finance and local control to assure accountability. 

Building and Grounds (1996)

The League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties approves of:

1. Increased funding for building needs of Salem/Keizer School District 24J;

2. The neighborhood concept of elementary and middle schools, and the adjoining park arrangement whenever possible;

3. Buildings should have flexibility to serve present and future program needs.

4. Site selection procedures that include: 

  • Consistency with Comprehensive Plans, with attention to preserving the inner city area
  • Site accessibility, including consideration of transportation modes, barriers, hazards, and coordination with transportation plan
  • Specific siting criteria for elementary, middle and high schools d. site availability (both vacant and redevelopable plots)
  • Direct and indirect costs
  • Attention to population diversity
  • Public design review process 
Rescheduled School Year (1993)

The League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties believes: 

  • There should be public hearings and other opportunities for input from all members of the community before major calendar changes are made. 
  • Since shortening the summer vacation and lengthening other vacations (year-round school) appears to result in greater learning retention, there is value in piloting such a calendar. 
  • Some of the time between the regular sessions of a year-round calendar should be used for assistive learning, tutoring and enrichment.
School Hours for Secondary Students (2005)

The League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties supports a school start time for middle and high school students no earlier than 8:30 a.m., in light of research on the sleep needs of adolescents.

The LWVMPC acknowledges that, along with the many advantages to a later school start time for middle and high school students, there are other considerations that need to be addressed. These include student transportation, family schedules, and after-school activities. The LWVMPC feels that the benefits to a later school start time for middle and high school students outweigh the detriments. Recognizing that changing to a later school start time for middle and high school students may result in an earlier school start time for elementary school students, LWVMPC encourages the Salem-Keizer School District to study in more detail a later school start time for middle and high school students. Such study must involve parents at all levels, students, school district representatives and community groups, including the League of Women Voters. 

Growth Policy and Procedures (1981)

Members of the League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties support the establishment of growth policies and procedures by Salem/Keizer School District 24J.

Specifically, the School Board should:

1. Be involved in direct, regular, cooperative planning effort among city/county governments, especially in the early stages of planning; 

2. Address both under-enrollment and over-enrollment, planning for them before they occur; 

3. Review at least annually student population trends;

4. Work with developers and city/county planners to develop a policy addressing school site identification; 

5. Send a representative to testify during the subdivision approval process regarding impact on schools (or earlier, in order to have effective input);

6. Ensure public input in the development of growth policies;

7. Establish standards and procedures that are firmly and consistently enforced. 

Members of the League find these alternatives acceptable for dealing with the pressures of growth (the alternatives are not listed in order of preference):

1. On a long-range basis: 

  • New schools
  • Centralized facilities with planned modules
  • Mini-magnet schools
  • Year-round schools 

2. On a short-range basis only: 

  • Use of portables 
  • Use of specialized rooms as regular classrooms 
  • Busing to fill space

3. On both a long- and short-range basis: 

  • 7-period day in the high schools
  • Boundary changes 

The League believes the following are unacceptable for dealing with growth:

  • Elimination of higher level electives in high schools
  • Extended school day/year (six-day week)
  • Increase in class size
  • Double-shifting

Physical Education and Athletics (1976, updated 1992)

The League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties believes that physical education and athletics are an important part of the total school curriculum and should provide a balance with other areas of a youngster’s development. The League feels a planned and sequential program is essential for every school. The League supports increased efforts to achieve this end, including the use of P.E. area specialists to work with elementary teachers to improve programs. The League sees the need for more than one unit of P.E. at the high school level. We feel more emphasis should be placed on life-time fitness. 

The League supports a greater emphasis on intramural sports, with a goal of 100% participation. In order to open up more opportunities for student participation, intramurals should receive a higher priority than interscholastic athletics. The League feels there is a definite place for athletics, but not at the expense of intramurals. 

The League supports a greater emphasis on individual sports, providing a balance with team sports. 

We support more P.E. facilities, particularly at the elementary level, and making use of the present facilities available to more students at the secondary level. 

We support and encourage the District’s compliance with state and federal anti-discrimination requirements.

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