Teacher Standards and Practices Commission budget moves to full Ways and Means Committee
Friday, May 10, 2013
The Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education voted this week to approve House Bill 5046, the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC)’s $4.9 million biennial budget.
The agency is feeling the effects of teacher layoffs, as reflected in the reduced fee revenue it generated over the past biennium. As a result, TSPC has made budget reductions during the biennium, including staff layoffs, leaving vacant positions open, and using ending fund balances to adjust the budget for the remainder of the 11-13 biennium.
The subcommittee, co-chaired by Sen. Rod Monroe (D-Portland) and Rep. Betty Komp (D-Woodburn), expressed concerns about the agency’s budget reduction challenges and discussed a fee increase to offset the reduction in revenue. Co-chair Monroe noted, “This is a train wreck coming at you.”
HB 5046 contains two budget notes. A budget note does not carry the force of law, but is intended to give legislative direction to the agency. The agency is then asked to report back on resultant outcomes.
The bill’s first budget note directs the TSPC to look at fee-related revenue trends for the first three months of the 2013-15 biennium and identify any necessary changes related to the loss of revenue.
The second budget note directs the Department of Administrative Services to assist TSPC in exploring alternatives for replacing the existing information system, and requires a report back to the interim Joint Committee on Ways and Means during the 2014 Legislative Session.
This budget also contains a line item called “PERS Adjustments,” reflecting enacted Senate Bill 822 changes to Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) taxation policy and other PERS adjustments that resulted in TSPC savings (reduced expenditures) of $66,411.
HB 5046 now moves to the full Ways and Means Committee for a vote before proceeding for final votes in the House and Senate.