HEPPNER, Oregon – State Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) is serving as co-vice chairman of a panel of senators and representatives put together to explore ways the Oregon Legislature can work to ensure all students have an equal chance at succeeding. The panel basically revamps the education committees in the Legislature.
Smith is the only committee member from Eastern Oregon. Its members include seven senators and seven representatives. Six of the members are Republicans.
“The Senate president and the House speaker have created this committee to take a hard look at how education is delivered in the state of Oregon and start asking the question, ‘Can we do better,’” Smith said.
Speaker of the House Tina Kotek said the committee is to put party politics aside and work on real solutions.
“It’s time we come out of our corners and solve this problem together,” she said. “Every student deserves a fair shot at success. It’s time to come together and forge a path forward that will ensue every child has access to the high-quality schools they deserve.”
Smith said that while he’s the only lawmaker from Eastern Oregon on the committee, this part of the state will not be ignored.
“We’re going to be touring the state and visiting with local school districts to find out what is working, what isn’t working, and what we should be doing differently,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting for Morrow and Umatilla counties because I’ll be bringing the committee to the districts.”