Join us Sunday for The Early Link Podcast: Season 1, Episode 13, featuring host Rafael Otto. Listen live at 99.1 FM in the heart of Portland – or online anywhere at

In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto talks with local education policy experts about the implementation of the Student Success Act.


Scott Nine is the Assistant Superintendent at Oregon Department of Education. He has spent almost two decades organizing, writing, speaking, and learning about what it takes to foster equity for students and remodel public education systems.

Parasa Chanramy is the Policy and Implementation Director at Stand for Children. Parasa started her career as a kindergarten teacher at a K-8 charter school in North Minneapolis. After teaching, she went on to work as a Policy and Advocacy fellow at Charter School Partners where she developed a nonprofit business plan to pilot a new parent advocacy organization called EMPOWER: Education Matters—Parents Organizing and Working for Education Reform.      

Dana Hepper is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Children’s Institute, she oversees the organization’s legislative advocacy and community engagement work. Dana started her career as an elementary school and preschool teacher, then she worked at Stand for Children for nine years doing community organizing, policy, and advocacy before joining Children’s Institute. 


The Student Success Act (SSA) was passed during the 2019 Legislative Session. It mandates that Oregon will allocate $1 billion in new education investments each year, beginning in the 2020–2021 school year.

The SSA investments are allocated into three separate accounts:

The Student Investment Account ($500 million) will be used used to meet students’ mental and behavioral health needs, and to increase academic achievement and reduce disparities for students of color; students with disabilities; emerging bilingual students; students navigating poverty, homelessness, and foster care; and other students that have historically experienced disparities in our schools.

Statewide Investments ($300 million) include High School Success (M98); expansion of nutrition programs; school safety; African American/Black Student Success Statewide Plan; American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success Plan; Latinx Student Success Statewide Plan; ESD support for school districts; summer programming; and the High Cost Disability Fund.

The Early Learning Account ($200 million) funds will go toward early learning opportunities for kids under 5. Examples include: Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education; Early Head Start; Healthy Families Oregon; Early Childhood Equity Fund; and professional development for early childhood educators.


Rafael Otto, Director of Communications, Children’s Institute

~ Thanks to Children’s Institute, working to ensure that every Oregon child has the best start in life ~