In 2017, Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 182 which created the Educator Advancement Council (EAC), an innovative public/nonprofit partnership designed to support public educators. Through this bill, the EAC was charged with the task of creating local educator networks. These ten networks came to be known as “Regional Educator Networks” (REN). There are 10 REN’s throughout the state of Oregon, each one with a REN Coordinator in charge of the REN work for that region.
The central focus of the REN is to create a seamless system in our region through equity and teacher voice. Prior to the passing of Senate Bill 182, most school districts functioned in isolation from one another, competing for statewide grants without consistent or equitable support. The REN’s intention is to balance the needs of all school districts through the establishment of a Coordinating Body that represents all educators and geographic areas. The Coordinating Body will use an equity lens and continuous improvement model to make decisions that support teachers throughout all stages of the career continuum and subsequently improve education for all students in our region.
The Coordinating Body consists of majority teachers and other key community stakeholders who represent our region. Senate Bill 182 defines various requirements for representatives that must be included in the Coordinating Body. In addition to the requirement of majority teachers, it defines various stakeholders from the community; such as, school board members, community based education organizations, state agencies, etc. This is to ensure that a multitude of perspectives are involved in the decision making process and functions under the posit that if we collaboratively improve the systems for teachers in our
region, then we improve the success of our students.
Kimberly Strong, Regional Educator Network Coordinator