Public records requests
Senate Bill 106
What it does: Senate Bill 106 would create a public records advocate and a public records advisory council. This is Gov. Kate Brown’s effort to boost access to public records and address issues related to delays in filling record requests by public bodies. The advocate will be authorized to facilitate any disputes brought by a requestor. In Oregon, as elsewhere, government records are available to the public unless they are specifically exempt. Each public body, which includes school districts, in Oregon maintains its own records and handles requests for access. They are required to have a process, available in writing, for those seeking access to or a copy of the records. Public bodies are also required to respond in a reasonable amount of time and may recover costs associated with satisfying the request.
What’s new: The bill was heard in late March and had a work session Monday. The bill was amended and moved to the Ways and Means committee because of the fiscal implications.
What’s next: OSBA is supportive of the position and will monitor the bill’s progress.
Release to play after head injury
Senate Bill 217
What it does: The bill would add chiropractors and naturopathic physicians to the list of health care professionals allowed to provide a release to return to play for an athlete who sustained a head injury.
What’s new: The bill was heard in early February and then again in late March. OSBA testified in opposition to adding anyone who is not a medical physician to the list. There has been a discussion around adding someone who is not trained to look for head injuries, and there are issues of certification and liability insurance. The bigger issue is returning the student to the class or “return to learn.”
What’s next: A work group will form to address how to add other health care professionals to the list, including training and certification as well as how to deal with the whole child instead of just the athletic component. The work group will submit a proposal in the next regular session.
House Bill 3313
What it does: Under current Oregon law, charter school admissions generally do not have a geographic priority. Admissions are district-wide, rather than prioritized for a specific neighborhood or area. If a charter school has reason, that school can work with a state board to get a waiver to prioritize a certain area for priority admissions. HB 3313 would allow public charter schools to give priority in admission to students who had resided within the service boundaries of a non-charter public school that had closed within two years prior to the charter school beginning to operate.
What’s new: The House Committee on Education held a public hearing April 4. OSBA opposed the bill, citing concerns that school districts have to make difficult decisions about opening and closing schools and that giving charter schools admissions priority could damage the ability of school district boards to properly manage district-wide enrollment. That same day, the committee voted to move the bill with a “do pass” recommendation to the House floor for full consideration. The House passed the bill on April 13, by a vote of 54-2 with four members excused.
What’s next: OSBA will monitor the bill as it moves to the Senate.
HB 3029 A
What it does: The bill, as amended, would allow parents of a 6-year-old student to delay enrolling that student in school for one year to better meet the child’s needs for cognitive, social or physical development.
What’s new: The House Committee on Education moved the amended measure to the floor of the House with a “do pass” recommendation on April 10. After initially testifying against the measure, based on concerns that the introduced language was too broad, OSBA supported the adoption of the amendments.
What’s next: The bill will move to the floor of the House of Representatives for full consideration.