House Bill 2005-A
What it does: The original bill was a product of a study in 2014-15 looking at pay inequality in Oregon. HB 2005-A, the version that passed the House, extends equal pay to people in protected classes as well as prohibiting an employer from using salary history to screen applicants or to determine compensation. The bill also expands remedies for pay equity violations, including compensatory and punitive damages and a jury trial.
What’s new: The Senate Workforce Committee held a work session on the bill this week and adopted amendments. An amendment adds a section that allows an employer to conduct an equal-pay analysis to be used as preponderance of evidence that the employer has acted in good faith to eliminate the wage differentials and has made reasonable progress toward eliminating wage differentials. Conducting this analysis would limit the employer’s liability.
What’s next: The bill moved out of committee on a unanimous vote and heads directly to the Senate floor for a vote. OSBA has been involved in the work group and has continued concerns with this bill and how implementing it will impact school districts.
Priority admissions for charter schools
House Bill 3313
What it does: The bill deals with the narrow circumstance that occurs when a charter school is formed to take over the neighborhood school function of another school after that school was closed by a school district. In that circumstance, HB 3313 would allow the charter to take over the existing priority for admissions from the old admissions boundary of the closed school. Currently, charter schools in this circumstance may appeal to the State Board of Education. The waiver is normally granted for a short period of time, often one year.
What’s new: The House Education Committee heard the bill Monday. OSBA was previously opposed to the bill. However, the committee also heard amendments drafted by the bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene), and OSBA. The amendments require that charter schools seeking this admissions priority be sponsored by the local district, be operating in the same area as the previously closed school, and gain approval from the local board. With these amendments, OSBA supports the measure and views it as a good tool for enhancing local control and charter school-school board relations.
What’s next: OSBA will monitor the bill and advocate for a vote in the House Education Committee.
Advanced Placement college credit
Senate Bill 207-A
What it does: The bill would require public universities and community colleges to give credit, beginning with the 2018-19 school year, to students who participated in an Advanced Placement program and received a grade of three or higher on the relevant examination. Advanced Placement classes are offered by high schools throughout Oregon. They operate under guidelines issued by the College Board, a national nonprofit corporation. There are AP courses in more than 30 subjects, including science fields, mathematics, computer science, history, English and foreign languages. According to the Legislature’s Legislative Policy and Research Office, nearly 20,000 Oregon high school students enrolled in AP courses in 2016. The mean score of those tests was 2.93 out of 5.
What’s new: The House Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing on the measure Tuesday. Testimony was mixed, with individuals testifying both for and against the measure. Proponents testified that the bill would support student achievement and increase graduation rates, while simultaneously lowering levels of student debt. Opponents expressed concerns with potential negative impacts on students based on inconsistent instruction, as well as concerns with the minimum score of three, rather than four, out of a possible five.
What’s next: OSBA will monitor the bill.
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