PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon's public schools are set to get a $1 billion boost along with relief for a major drain to districts' budgets.
Legislators this year set their sights on shoring up the state's public school system. Districts have been facing the twin crises of underfunded budgets and mounting costs of the state's Public Employees Retirement System. The result has been some of the worst-performing schools in the country, according to critics.
Two major pieces of legislation came out of the current session to bring relief to those problems. On May 16, Gov. Kate Brown signed the bill creating a new gross receipts tax projected to generate $1 billion in new annual revenue for schools. Two weeks later, the state House approved a bill to reduce some of the costs public employers like schools pay into PERS.
“It’s been in a 30-year spiral. This is the most powerful education bill that I’ve been involved with in 17 years," said Sen. Mark Hass, D- Beaverton, earlier this year upon the passage of the business tax. "We have a chance to set in motion longer school years, smaller classrooms and the ability of Oregon’s sons and daughters to reach their highest potential.”
Much of that reaching that potential, naturally, stems from employing great teachers. Research organization Niche.com regularly compiles rankings of public and private schools using data on various measures, some weighted more than others. Academic performance accounts for half the rank while other factors, including teacher performance, parent and student surveys, health and safety, and resources and facilities, make up the rest of the grade, according to Niche.
The Portland Business Journal looked through the website's rankings of public school districts and made a list of the top 25 places to teach in the state. The list covers a wide range of districts, from urban and suburban Portland to rural hamlets in central Oregon.
Click through the slideshow link below to see which ones did the best according to Niche.
You can see Niche's full rankings for schools nationwide here.
Portland Business Journal is a KGW News partner.