Oregon officials have cleared the way for school choice advocates to add two constitutional amendments to the November 2024 ballot.
One amendment would allow parents to enroll their children in any K-12 public or charter school in the state. It proposes an “equitable lottery process” for schools where the applicants exceed the number of spaces.
The other amendment would provide state funding for K-12 private, religious and homeschooling options. It would allow parents opting out of public schools to transfer a portion of the state’s public education funds to an account for their private use.
In two rulings signed on Sept. 26 and Oct. 5, Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan approved the amendments as being compliant with the state Constitution.
The advocacy group Education Freedom for Oregon, which is sponsoring the amendments, must collect 250,000 petition signatures for each measure.
“These two school choice constitutional measures shift the decision-making power from bureaucrats to parents regarding which school setting is best for the students,” Donna Kreitzberg, a member of the group’s executive committee, said in a statement.
The ballot push follows recent data showing low approval of Oregon’s public school system.
In June, a poll from Salem-based Nelson Research found that 16.6% of likely Oregon voters said the state’s schools were on the “right track.” Another 55.5% said schools were heading in the “wrong direction,” and 28.1% were unsure or refused to answer.