Hello District 50 and Beyond,
What a week, I had the opportunity to speak on behalf of two of my priority areas, supporting working families and education.
Some of you know that I serve on the Gresham-Barlow School Board. I am dedicated to our students’ success so all Oregon students have an opportunity to thrive in their educational environment. For me, that means our teachers need to have all of the supports possible to be effective, including adequate supplies and prep time, and small class sizes.
In East Multnomah County, with a focus on Gresham-Barlow School District, class sizes are too large, and are growing. When class sizes grow, students get less individualized support and teachers are often spread too thin. When teachers they burn out, and ultimately seek out opportunities to teach in a more supportive environment. I had the opportunity to Co-Chief Sponsor a bill that will work to address this issue. This proposed legislation seeks to create a task force to gather accurate information on appropriate class sizes and methods to reduce class sizes in our schools as well as determine the cost of implementing those methods. That bill, HB 2928, had a hearing this past Monday, where I joined my colleague Representative Susan McLain and gave testimony on the necessity of finding ways to deal with this important issue.
You can watch our testimony in the House Committee on Education here.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a program through the Department of Human Services (DHS) that gives struggling parents important tools to support their families and provide for the health and safety of their children. In addition to financial assistance, the TANF program helps parents find and maintain employment in order to work towards self-sufficiency. Families in the TANF program are provided with case management, childcare subsidies, and support accessing community resources. TANF clients also receive assistance applying for other appropriate services such as Supplementary Security Income or for grant money to help flee from domestic violence.
HB 2029 is a bill that would reset the income a parent can earn and qualify for TANF, that limit has not been adjusted since 1991. Moving forward, I will be serving on a work group with legislators, DHS, and advocacy agencies to design a plan to improve the TANF program, thus providing more comprehensive services to families in-need, all within the available funding. I am excited for this challenge and I am glad to have been a part of opening up this conversation.
211info workers who gained employment through the TANF program testified on behalf of HB 2029, their stories are humbling and inspiring.
I also talked about my commitment to support children and families and the need to support parents to become self-sufficient. My testimony can also be watched here or watch the complete Human Services and Housing Committee meeting by following this link.
Career Technical Education Day
On Wednesday the 25th students from all over the State who are involved in Career Technical Education (CTE) programs to share the exciting skills they are learning.
Students from Sutherland High School visited the Capitol and demonstrated a 3D Printer which is able to create Bobble Heads. I took advantage of this opportunity and one was created in my image. At least, I think it is in my image, I will let you know when the finished product arrives in my office.
Doing What’s Best for Gresham; Working Hard for Oregon
Representative Carla C. Piluso
House District 50