Representative Greg Smith (GOP-Heppner) has been appointed by legislative leadership to serve as the Co-Vice Chair of the newly formed Joint Committee on Student Success. As the ranking House Republican on the committee, Rep. Smith will work with his colleagues to identify strategies to help improve Oregon's high school graduation rate, absenteeism rate and prioritize reforms that result in more taxpayer dollars being invested in classrooms.
"Our state is full of thousands of hardworking teachers and education leaders who want to see our students succeed," said Rep. Smith. "But for many years now, the outcomes we have seen in our classrooms have failed to meet even modest educational benchmarks. We are investing more money than ever into our schools, yet nothing ever seems to change. The system is broken. I'm humbled to have the opportunity to travel the state with my colleagues, listen to students, teachers, and parents about what is working and what is not, and identify the best path forward for our schools. This is going to be a difficult task, but not one we can afford to shy away from."
The 14-member bicameral committee, officially formed and announced earlier this month, was created following the successes of the Joint Committee on Transportation and Modernization in the 2017 session. Legislators are hopeful the Student Success committee will be equally successful in developing education policies that will help elevate student performance in the classroom and ensure that teachers have the tools they need to achieve success. The committee held its first meeting on January 12th, and will continue meeting throughout the February 2018 legislative session.
"The future of our state depends on our ability to teach and train the next generation of Oregonians," concluded Rep. Smith. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve in a leadership capacity on this committee and to represent rural education interests and Republican voices in this important conversation."
In addition to the Student Success Committee, Rep. Smith serves on the following joint committees: Emergency Board, House Revenue Committee, Joint Committee on Legislative Administration, and Joint Committee on Transportation. He also serves as the Co-Vice Chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee and Co-Chair of the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on General Government. Additionally, Rep. Smith holds the title of House GOP Budget Chair, placing him in a key role during legislative budget discussions.
The 2018 legislative session begins February 5.