John Kitzhaber’s once-powerful education board will die

May 22, 2015 / Phil Lesch

May 21st, 2015

Early in his third term, Gov. John Kitzhaber created a powerful overarching education board that he pledged would forge dramatic improvements statewide. The panel would zero in on key strategies, break down the silos separating preschools, public schools and colleges and overhaul spending priorities to get the most vital results.

He put a host of influential Oregonians on the board, ranging from the teachers union president to a Nike executive. The governor himself was its chairman.

Four years later, the Oregon Legislature is days away from killing that board for good.

Gov. Kate Brown, Kitzhaber's successor, told The Oregonian/OregonLive she fully supports the move.

The panel, formally known as the Oregon Education Investment Board, lost its chief political backer when Kitzhaber resigned in disgrace in February. But the ease with which lawmakers have agreed to dismantle it reflects the widely shared view that the board did more wrong than right in its three-plus years of operation, in large part because of the way they say Kitzhaber guided it.

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