Bill proposes changes to interdistrict transfer law; changes to tuition not moving
Friday, May 17, 2013
On May 14, the Senate Education and General Government Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 2747. The bill, which previously passed the House on a 51-7 vote, proposes changes to the current interdistrict transfer statute; it does not impact statutes related to enrollment in charter schools, open enrollment or students receiving contract services.
Supporters of the bill, including Rep. Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis) and Rep. Sherrie Sprenger (R-Scio), told the Senate that the bill is an attempt to bring more equity to the current interdistrict transfer process. They expressed concern that some school districts are requiring significant amounts of information about students who wish to enroll under an interdistrict transfer. HB 2747 proposes that the only information that a school district can require of a prospective interdistrict transfer student includes: the name of the student, contact information, grade level, date of birth and information about whether the student is serving an expulsion that would prevent enrollment.
School districts are currently prohibited from discriminating against students when considering whether to allow an interdistrict transfer. The bill includes specific language that consideration of such things as a student’s age, race, sex, disability, individualized education program (IEP) or English Language Learner (ELL) status or income cannot be considered when allowing or denying a transfer.
Opponents of the bill, including several parents and school board members representing the Riverdale School District, told the committee that the ability to ask questions about prospective students allows them to make an informed decision about whether their school or district has the ability to serve the student’s needs or if the student is a good fit for a specific school or program. They also argued that the bill will “kill the current interdistrict transfer process” which has worked well for districts across the state.
The committee is expected to hold further hearings on HB 2747 in the next week.
Another bill that has generated significant interest this session is House Bill 2748. The current version of the bill prohibits districts from charging tuition to low income students who wish to enroll in a tuition-based school program with space available; in lieu of tuition the district would receive the state school fund average daily membership, weighted (ADMw) amount for the student. The bill would also prohibit districts from having tuition-based programs for in-state students if they did not have such a program during the 2013-14 school year.
HB 2748 is in the House Rules Committee; no further action on the bill is expected this session.
Contact Morgan Allen, OSBA legislative services specialist, for more information.