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About Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (May 2, 2019)
Schools Update: School Finance
By Superintendent Aaron Miller
In 29 years of working in
schools, I have heard a positive budget
message from the State of Oregon twice.
This year, however, there is great poten-
tial there will be a third.
Oregon’s support of K-12 pub-
lic schools has been woeful, leading to
some of the shortest school years, lowest
spending per student, and highest class
sizes in the nation. While the proposed
basic State School Fund budget does
not adequately move the dial forward to
fund Oregon K-12 schools, and address
these issues, the proposed Student Suc-
cess Act legislation would.
The proposed Student Success
Act would generate almost $2 billion
dedicated solely for K-12 public edu-
cation, taxing large corporations while
providing income tax relief for individ-
ual Oregonians. These funds would then
supplement the State School Fund to
specifically address early childhood ed-
ucation, decreasing class sizes, increas-
ing the number of days Oregon students
are in school, and addressing the social
and emotional needs of our most trauma-
For the Vernonia School District
(VSD) specifically this would mean an
increase in our budget of several hun-
dred thousand dollars, depending on the
final version of the bill. With this level of
funding, the VSD will be considering the
• Add several days of school to our cal-
endar (a standard year is usually 180
days, and Vernonia students currently at-
tend school 159 days per year).
• Hire another teacher at each school
(VES, VMS, and VHS) to decrease class
sizes and increase the number of avail-
• Continue to bolster our Career and
Technical Education (CTE) programs to
offer our students more options to pre-
pare them for their futures.
I encourage you to participate in
the process and contact your legislators.
Let them know how important our chil-
dren are, how important a strong educa-
tional system is for them as individuals,
and how important a quality K-12 edu-
cation system is for our state as a whole.
One action in place to try and im-
pact this decision state-wide is a planned
May 8 “statewide teacher walk-out day.”
On this day, many school districts in the
state will be closing their doors as their
entire teaching staffs plan to descend
on Salem in support of adequate K-12
Teachers in Vernonia had deci-
sions to make on whether to support this
movement and determined that closing
school for a day was not in the best inter-
est of their students, so they are showing
support for the funding initiative in a dif-
ferent way. From 8:00-8:15 am, teachers
will gather in front of our school, declar-
ing their support for adequate funding
while students are in short assemblies
with their respective schools. This ac-
tion will allow our teachers’ voices to
be heard, but will have minimal impact
on our students’ education and day at
The VSD is working hard to
provide as many options as possible for
its students to thrive, and be successful.
The increased funding within the Student
Success Act to address the budget short-
falls in our instructional programming
would be a big step toward adequately
providing the educational opportunities
our children need and deserve.
VHS Spring Sports Report continued from page 12
Starr McKinnis, Mckenzie Pickering,
and Hannah Creutz placed 4 th , 5 th , 6 th ,
and 7 th , respectively. All had PRs with
Whiteman running 15.29. Whiteman
also placed 5 th in the 200 meters. Ely
took 2 nd in the 800 meters with a PR of
2:43. In the 1,500 meters Sadie Gump
finished 3 rd with a PR of 5:39 and Emma
Hahn took 6 th .
At the Portland Christian Invi-
tation, which featured 24 schools, the
Logger boys finished 15 th and the girls
finished 18 th .
Field event highlights for the
boys included Martin who took 6 th in the
high jump, Carreon’s 7 th place finish in
the shot put with a PR of 37’7”, and Zik-
mund and Sullivan finishing 5 th and 9 th in
On the track, Handegard took 6 th
in the 800 meters with a PR of 2:08.97,
which ranks him 2 nd in the league, and
Martin finished 7 th in the 300 hurdles
with a PR of 45.95, the best time in the
league this season. Sullivan ran a PR of
55.96 in the 400 meters.
For the girls, Gump took 6 th in
the 3,000 meters with a PR 12.29, the 2 nd
best league time this season. McKinnins
took 5 th in the discus with a PR throw of
97’9”, which ranks her 3 rd in the league.
Abby Coleman had a PR of 86’7” in the
javelin and her triple jump of 27’4” was
also a PR.
Vernonia was scheduled to host
its first home track meet in decades on
May 2. The District Meet will be held
on May 10-11 at Portland Christian.
Baseball – The Loggers got their first
win of the season, a 3-2 win over Port-
land Christian on April 18.
The Loggers are 1-15 on the
season in Special District 1 play after
falling to Gaston 14-0 on April 30.
The Loggers will end their sea-
son with a home doubleheader against
Gaston on May 3.
Vernonia School Board Meetings are held
on the second Thursday of each month. The
next School Board Meeting is scheduled for
May 9 at 6:00 pm in the Schools Library.
Vernonia Students of the Month
Front Row: Sterling Taylor (K),
Drew Stahlnecker (1 st )
Back Row: Luna Scott (3 rd ),
Henry Vance (2 nd ),
Adelene Stewart (2 nd ), Dilyn
Lardy (5 th ) Not Pictured: Gideon
May-Fitch (K), Wyatt Mullins (4 th )
Kaiden Van Lom
Kaiden is known as a responsible student who tries
hard, comes prepared for class, is conscientious
about getting his work done, and doing the best he
can. He says he likes math, art, and physical ed. He
plays baseball and likes to draw in his spare time.
Sean says he loves math and is currently taking
calculus II at PCC in order to challenge himself.
Sean participated in three sports – cross country,
basketball, and baseball. He plays clarinet in the
band and has also been part of the robotics
program at school. After graduation Sean hopes to
attend the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Sponsored by Senator Betsy Johnson