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Nearly 1 in 3 Oregon students learning in-person attend private schools, election 2020 preview: The week in education

An Oregonian/OregonLive analysis of state education data found that 30% of students who attended in-person classes the week of Sept. 28-Oct. 2 are enrolled in private schools.

All told, 550 Oregon schools offered some form of in-person instruction that week, teaching some 46,000 students. One hundred and seventy of those schools are private and taught 13,000 students in-person, state Department of Education figures show.

That means 6% of the state’s 560,000 K-12 students visited a classroom last week. The share of private students in the overall population is about 2%.

In order for school districts to allow in-person instruction, the county they’re in must meet specific coronavirus set by the state. If a district or school draws 10% or more of its workforce or enrollment from more than one county, both must meet the metrics in order for the district to open its classrooms.

That’s the case in Portland Public Schools, where district officials this week say their reopening fortunes are tied to coronavirus metrics in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties. Officials there don’t expect students to see the inside of a classroom until late January at the earliest.

Here are some of the other major education stories from this week:

Education stories from the Portland area:

Most Portland voters will see a pair of education-related tax measures on the ballot next month, one of them a $1.2 billion campaign from the state’s largest district to update a high school in a historically black neighborhood and another to fund free preschool for all Multnomah County children ages 3 and 4.

The Portland Public Schools measure would pay for extensive renovations to Jefferson High School, as well as accessibility throughout the district and investments in curriculum and technology. You can read the full details of the measure here.

The preschool measure, an effort backed by Multnomah County Commissioner Jessicca Vega Pederson, would tax the county’s highest earners to fund a universal system that would prioritize the region’s most economically disadvantaged families of color in its first year. It would impose a tax of 1.5% on personal incomes of $125,000 and joint incomes of $250,000 in 2021 and scale up to a 2.3% rate in 2022. You can read the full details of the measure here.

And across the state:

Classes are back in session for Oregon’s universities. And in Eugene, the start of the term is ushering in a wave of coronavirus infections. But classes aren’t where students in Lane County are contracting COVID-19. It’s the parties.

The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Aimee Green has the story.

More education headlines from The Oregonian/OregonLive:

Coronavirus outbreaks hit California colleges despite intense preparations (The Los Angeles Times)

Massive influx of coronavirus tests may be state’s best shot to slow spread, open schools

Madison High principal starts renaming process, SE Portland students push for Ginsburg Middle School

In $5.5 million lawsuit, former Portland Public Schools leader says district fired him over his conservative views (The Gresham Outlook)

Oregon Department of Corrections weighs cutting ties with community colleges,