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Educators gather in Tualatin for charter school conference

This week, speakers, educators and administrators from around the state met at the MITCH Charter School in Tualatin for the League of Oregon Charter Schools' annual statewide conference. This was the first year that MITCH was able to host the conference having just found a permanent building last year.

Oregon State Representative Matt Wingard (R-Wilsonville) joined with Charter School Education Specialist Margaret Bates of the state department of Education for the keynote presentation on Tuesday. Together, they discussed house bills passed by the state legislature last year that were relevant to charter schools throughout the state, including bills on special education programs and open enrollment.

'I'm looking forwad to them connecting with other charter school teachers,' said MITCH Founder and Director Debi Lorence. 'Charter school teachers in general are amazingly passionate, caring individuals because they don't make as much as normal school teachers. This is not true in every case but, typically speaking, they're underpaid by 20, if not 30 percent. It's huge.'

According to Lorence, there are 16,000 students registered in the state's 108 charter schools, all of which were invited to attend the conference.

Forced to find housing at various school and church campuses throughout Lorence said they school community is excited to finally have a building of its own in which to celebrate its 10-year anniversary this year.