Oregon Rising is a public outreach effort that's focused on learning about what Oregonians want for their children and their schools. At the heart of the work is the prompt to dream big, and to share the dream. In the first phase, we provided a survey and held community meetings. In both, we asked you to describe the education Oregon students would receive, if it were up to you.

Within two months, we heard from more than 10,000 Oregonians, from all walks of life and from every county in the state. Next, we will share our findings and then together, develop a vision and plan that can deliver what Oregonians want.

Oregon Rising refers to one thing we find most people agree upon: When our children are successful, we are all successful. Thus, our tagline: Great Schools, Great State. Because we believe great schools are the foundation for a great State of Oregon, and a great state of our economy, our communities and our future.

About the Name

The aspirational nature of the name is intentional. You’ll note that Oregon Rising is more about dreams, and less about practicalities such as funding. The decision to largely remove the funding element from the equation wasn’t out of naiveté or because it’s not a real challenge. But we find that as soon as the conversation turns to money, aspirations are tempered. Oregon Rising wants to know not just what schools could be, but what you think they should be.

The Project Sponsors

The project is supported by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (superintendents and principals), Oregon Education Association (educators and teachers) and Oregon School Boards Association (board members of districts, education service districts, community colleges and charter schools). The project sponsors asked you to dream unencumbered. It was a truly open question.

Calling All Oregonians

The invitation to participate was extended to all Oregonians. The project sponsors were especially interested in ensuring that we heard from those whose voices aren’t always represented. Some participated in ‘town hall’ style conversations sponsored by school districts or hosted by community members, and some responded to an online survey. The effort began in April 2016 with a goal of hearing from at least 10,000 people. We surpassed that goal, thanks to the thoughtful engagement of many people, but we are far from done.

"The Promise of Oregon” Connection

OSBA began “The Promise of Oregon” campaign in 2014 with the goal of focusing on the accomplishments of Oregon’s students. Oregon Rising builds on the Promise campaign and adds another important dimension by asking the people of Oregon to engage in a conversation about achieving high-quality public schools.

Our Hopes

We will be sharing the results of this effort widely. Participants will receive the results, if they provide their e-mail address.

The project sponsors will be using the results to build a plan for the future of Oregon’s public schools, and will be taking that plan to the 2017 legislative session, because legislators will certainly be interested to know what Oregonians want for schools, and how they can help.

Our hope is that the Oregon Rising effort will initiate a conversation that continues far into the future, and a shared commitment to Oregon’s children, their education and our collective future. Let’s ensure that we fulfill the promise our kids show by dreaming big about the schools they need and deserve.


Together, these videos tell the story of Oregon Rising, from our call for dreams, to a reporting of what Oregonians want for our students' education. The videos feature real Oregon students from around the state. We are grateful for their help.

1. Introducing Oregon Rising

2. The State of Oregon Schools

3. Retrospective of the Outreach

4. Reporting the Findings

4. In Spanish - Reporting the Findings

5. What Makes Oregon, Oregon


Doesn’t Oregon Lottery revenue go to school funding?

Income from the Oregon Lottery is already part of the equation: It has helped education for many years. However, growth in lottery revenue has been declining in recent years, and the share going to schools is dropping as others tap into this funding source as well.

Aren’t schools getting lots of new funds from marijuana sales?

Marijuana tax receipts are a new source of funding for Oregon schools. But not all revenues go to schools: portions also go to local government, public safety, and other locally determined efforts. And even if every dollar went to K-12, it’s not enough to solve the problem. Consider this: In 2016, marijuana income was $60.2 million. The proposed education budget reflects a shortfall of $400 million, based on the Governor’s proposed budget.

Are you using the survey results to ask for funding?

We’re sharing our findings with the legislature, which is charged with allocating funding to support quality public schools. In past sessions we’ve found that funding that was allocated to K-12 education has been chipped away by other initiatives or programs. We want to be in a position to tell the story of what Oregonians want their state’s education system to look like.

Who's behind Oregon Rising?

Oregon Rising was initiated and supported by three Oregon organizations that dedicate their work to the education of Oregon’s students – Oregon Education Association (teachers), Oregon School Boards Association (school board members), and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (principals, superintendents and other administrators). The power of this trio rests in their shared, long-term devotion to the education of Oregon students. Such a collective effort toward improving education is ground-breaking in Oregon, and a model nationally.

How can I get involved?

Please follow us on social media and be sure you’re on our enewsletter list.

How long will the project last?

Oregon Rising launched in April 2016 and is defined as an active 18-month project. However, it is possible that we will maintain a role in hosting community conversations about education farther into the future.

Has any other state done something like this?

We don’t think so. If you know of anything, please drop us a note.

Is there a headquarters for Oregon Rising?

Not in the traditional sense. Our mail goes to the COSA headquarters in Salem. The project is staffed by several teams around Oregon. The closest thing to a headquarters is this website.

If I give you my email address, how will you use it?

Your email address will be used to reach out to you with information about Oregon Rising and to report the findings of our work. If you don’t want to receive information from us, it’s easy to unsubscribe. We don’t share or sell your contact information.

Where did get the statistics you’ve used in your materials?

We’ve been diligent in our efforts to rely on fair and accurate statistics and information for our outreach efforts. That said, we all know that there are many ways to interpret data and reports. We’ve provided the reports cited in our outreach, or links to those reports. We’ve also assembled a list of resources and articles that we think you might find helpful. Access all this information here.

My question is not listed here. How can I get an answer?

Please send us your questions.

More FAQs
Oregon Rising in the News

When we started Oregon Rising, we weren’t sure how people would react. Would they want to join in the conversation? Is it reasonable to ask people to dream limitlessly without mind to practicalities? Here’s what people are saying:

10,894 Oregonians Weigh In, Survey Findings Now Available, News Release, September 27, 2016. View Article.

School survey seeks dreams, The Dalles Chronicle, May 24th, 2016

The school district is encouraging citizens to take a new survey — either online or a meeting coming up — to share their hopes for what they want public education to look like in Oregon. View Article.

GAPS gathers input at listening session, Albany Democrat-Herald, May 20th, 2016

Parents who gathered for Tuesday's "listening session" at Clover Ridge Elementary School wanted assurances that Albany schools are working with all of a child's needs: emotional and behavioral as well as academic. View Article.

Education groups team up to sponsor Oregon Rising meetings, The Register-Guard, April 26th, 2016

A community meeting slated for Wednesday evening will give Lane County residents a chance to express their thoughts on public education in Oregon. View Article.

Trio of State Education Organizations Invites Oregonians to “Dream” the Future of Schools, April 12th, 2016. View Article.

Public Invited to Join 'Oregon Rising', Albany Democrat-Herald, April 8, 2016

Most of the conversations in Salem about how to fund public education start with how much is available and how thinly it can be spread. Representatives of a new public outreach effort want Oregonians to move those talks to a new starting point: what people value in education and what they want schools to offer. View Article.

Who is Oregon Rising?

Meet the Team

Oregon Rising was initiated and supported by three Oregon organizations that dedicate their work to the education of Oregon's students – the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, Oregon School Boards Association and Oregon Education Association. The power of this particular trio rests in our shared, long-term devotion to the education of Oregon students. Such a collective effort toward improving education is ground-breaking in Oregon, and a model nationally.

Confederation of Oregon School Administrators

The Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) serves Oregon students by developing and supporting those who guide the state’s schools and programs. These leaders are our members – more than 2,200 school administrators, managers and executives. COSA was founded in 1974 to help educational leaders collectively shape public policy, advocate for schools, and speak on behalf of students. COSA also serves members with professional development, administrative licensure, and master’s and doctoral degree programs.

Oregon Education Association

The Oregon Education Association represents 44,000 educators in every community across our state. Founded more than 150 years ago, OEA’s pre-k, k-12 and community college members are united in a shared vison ‘to improve the future of all Oregonians through quality public education.’ Learn more about OEA.

Oregon School Boards Association

The Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA) is dedicated to improving student achievement through advocacy, leadership and service to locally elected volunteer Oregon public school boards. Today the association provides services in board development, policy, labor relations, legislative, litigation, communications and liability and property insurance. OSBA’s “The Promise of Oregon” campaign set the stage for Oregon Rising when it provided a rallying point for Oregonians. Learn more about OSBA.

Other Supporters

We are grateful to the following organizations for their help. Some groups play a vital part in reaching into all the communities of Oregon. Others are helping by sharing their specialized knowledge as we translate the dreams we hear into action items for Oregon schools.

  • Oregon PTA
  • Oregon Association of School Business Officials (OASBO)
  • Oregon Association of Education Service Districts (OAESD)
  • Oregon Association of Student Councils

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