Oregon Schools Get “F” for Spending; OCHS Board to Meet Tonight at LCC; Gas Dips But Could Rise in Weeks to Come; Florence Mother Back in Jail

Oregon Schools Get “F” for Spending

Oregon gets a failing grade for how much it spends on public schools, according to a new report. In its analysis, Education Week gave Oregon an “F” for spending, and gave the state’s overall education financing only slightly better marks with a “C-minus.” Underfunding has been a persistent issue in Oregon schools. It’s led to some of the largest class sizes in the nation. According to the National Education Association, the state had the sixth-largest class sizes in the nation last year. John Larson, head of the Oregon Education Association, says even the best teachers struggle when class sizes are too big.

“When you start talking about 45 students in a classroom, even the best instructor becomes more of a crowd-management type of a person than they do an instructor. It’s just not feasible for that person to be expected to deliver quality instruction with that many bodies in a classroom”

Here in Florence the situation is not as dire according to Siuslaw School Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak.  He says that class sizes are manageable, around 30, but have been creeping up in size.  And that some concessions have had to be made in staffing with the reduction of grounds crew, custodial staff and school nurse.  Grzeskowiak says that particularly in early grades the ratio for effective teaching is around 20-1 but not only for academic reasons but for assistance in social development.  In the high schools the state average for graduation rate is around 77 percent and the Florence rate is at around 81 percent.  He says this is due in part to the greater amount of choices given to students here in the realm of career technical education, construction and other trade skills.  Additional monies provided by a local option levy also help to maintain the schools in Florence.

OCHS Board to Meet Tonight at LCC

This evening’s meeting of the Oregon Coast Humane Society will be held at Lane Community College.  This will be the annual members meeting.  The new board will have it’s regular meeting to start and then will have a question and answer period that will be moderated by LCC Dean of Students Russ Pearson.  Board President Jack Hannigan says forms will be provided for everyone that wants to speak.  This will be the first time members will get to hear directly the boards plans for moving forward.  The board is working on new policies and procedures as required by the Oregon Department of Justice after a very public and sometime volatile transition.  Tonight’s meeting will be from 5:30-7:00 in room 103 at Lane Community College.

Gas Dips But Could Rise in Weeks to Come

After a 6 cent dip almost 2 weeks ago, gas prices in Florence have held steady.  The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Florence is at $3.06.  A price that Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says is not sustainable long term.  With the summer driving season upon us demand for gasoline is spiking and inventories have plummeted as a new all-time record was set in early June with almost 10 million barrels a day being consumed.  Dodds also says that an OPEC meeting on Friday could affect long-term supplies.  There is a possibility that oil producing nations will increase production to combat rising prices, otherwise crude oil prices could continue to rise.  Oregon is one of 18 states with higher gas prices than a month ago.  State average is around $3.31 a gallon.

Florence Mother Back in Jail

Angela Louise Davis is back in jail.  The Register Guard reports that the Florence mother who was charged for the drowning death of her 7 month old baby was remanded back to custody after she had unsupervised contact with one of her other children.