OSBA Bill Spotlight: OEIB proposal gets strong bipartisan support in House
Friday, May 3, 2013
On May 2, the House of Representatives voted 48-8 to send House Bill 2640 to the state Senate for its consideration.
The final version of the bill combined two proposals: House Bill 2538, sponsored by Hood River County School Board member and State Rep. Mark Johnson (R-Hood River), which added one board position to the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB) to be filled by a school board member, with the original proposal in the bill to add a position to the OEIB that must be filled by a PTA member.
Currently, the OEIB is made up of 12 members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate; the governor serves as chair. The board includes members who are teachers, superintendents, union leaders, business leaders, professors, academics and representatives of social service non-profits; there is not a sitting school board member or parent representative.
During floor debate, Rep. Johnson told his House colleagues that school boards are ultimately responsible for student achievement and implementing the laws and policies put in place by OEIB and the Legislature. He argued that the OEIB needs the school board perspective and on-the-ground experiences to help inform its policy deliberations.
The handful of “no” votes appear to be because of concerns that not every school district has PTA chapters. Rep. Julie Parrish (R-Tualatin/West Linn) noted that she supported the addition of a parent and school board member to the OEIB, but had reservations about the bill because not all parents have access to a local PTA.
The bill now heads to the Senate Education Committee. OSBA, PTA and others will testify in favor of the bill and tell senators that the voice and vote of parents and school board members is glaringly absent from the OEIB. Without a seat at the table, two of the critical stakeholder groups do not have equal representation.
If you have any questions about the bill, or would like to add your voice in support of the legislation, contact Morgan Allen, OSBA legislative specialist.