Early Learning Account
What is the Student Success Act?
Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 3427, the Student Success Act, into law on May 20, 2019. This law aims to correct three decades of underinvestment in our schools and our children and includes sweeping provisions for new and improved services for children and families.
The Act funds three accounts:
- The Early Learning Account (at least 20 percent)
- Student Investment Account (at least 50 percent)
- Statewide Education Initiatives (up to 30 percent)
The Early Learning Division is responsible for implementing the majority of the investments made through the Early Learning Account. For information on the Student Investment Account and the Statewide Education Initiatives and the special education portions of the ELA, visit the Oregon Department of Education’s website.
What are the focus areas for the Early Learning Account investments?
Too many children have not had the opportunity to reach their full potential because of the limited supply of early childhood education and gaps between which families can and cannot afford access to this limited supply. The investments within the ELA are focused on correcting this inequity, with services targeting the prenatal to five period by providing services to both children and their families who face economic challenges.
The ELA investments will ensure more of Oregon’s youngest children in low-income families can enter school ready to learn. Annual funding of $200 million will support the expansion of existing early care and education programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and their families. In addition, the funding creates new programs, including an Equity Fund, a parenting education program, and a new state investment in the early childhood workforce. This investment – when paired with our current programs – will help us reach approximately 15,000 children, or 15 percent of children living in low-income families and approximately 60 percent of families in poverty.
When will children and families start to benefit from the Student Success Act?
Because funds don’t become available until next year, expanded programs and services won’t begin until September 2020. We anticipate starting in fall of 2020 there will be 15,000 children supported through enhanced or new programs.
What will be happening over the next year?
Work begins with Early Learning Hubs leading a process to plan for placement of new slots within their community and directing funding.
How are you ensuring these resources best meet the needs of communities and families?
The next several months will be the time to hear from families and others interested in these investments. It will be important to hear diverse voices, particularly in communities who have historically been underserved across Oregon. Our 16 Early Learning Hubs will play a critical role in working with communities to identify the needs of families and most effectively leverage local resources.