The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has been effective in implementing Measure 98 and establishing systems to support future success, according to an audit released by the Secretary of State. The findings are outlined in the report titled: High School Success Planning is Robust, but ODE Can Enhance Benefits of Measure 98 by Improving Monitoring and Analysis.
Measure 98 was approved by the voters in 2016 to establish a fund aimed at dropout prevention, establishing or expanding career and technical education, and providing college-level education opportunities.
Staff in ODE’s High School Success program developed robust guidance, held planning and approval workshops around the state and engaged ODE staff from other divisions within the agency. Ultimately, 230 recipients, including school districts and charter schools, developed plans to meet state and local goals in compliance with statute and ODE’s equity focus.
While initial efforts are promising, auditors found several areas where ODE could improve. For one, although the plan development and approval process was robust, the process to approve mid-year change requests focused on statutory compliance and did not include a review of how requested changes may affect expected local outcomes. Additional equity analyses for the program overall could help ODE staff demonstrate the program’s contributions to statewide equity efforts.
“Measure 98 was passed to improve students’ progress toward graduation, increase graduation rates, and advance high school students’ college and career readiness by recognizing the importance of career and technical education,” said Secretary of State Bev Clarno. “I am optimistic that ODE is taking steps to carry out the will of the voters who passed Measure 98.”