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Student success committee finds two big priorities

PENDLETON, Oregon – The Oregon Legislature Joint Interim Committee on Student Success has toured schools throughout the state, listening to local stakeholders for several months. InterMountain Education Service District Superintendent Mark Mulvihill says it appears that the committee will help put rank and file lawmakers on the same page as the educators.

The top concern the task force reports on finding is the mental health of students. IMESD is beginning to work on that issue for its member schools this year.

“Hopefully, we’ll see some innovation and some funding toward that,” Mulvihill said. “That was the number-one thing that the joint committee identified – behavioral issues.”

Mulvihill said the group also learned that career and technical education is vital to high school students in preparing them for the real world, especially if a classic path to higher education isn’t of interest to them.

“We have to figure out how we’re going to get students certified and trained for multiple careers in pathways that are more seamless than the traditional four-year route,” he said.

The committee was formed in January and will produce proposed legislation for the 2019 legislative session. Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) was the only member from Eastern Oregon, and served as the committee’s co-vice chairman.

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