Members help shape OSBA’s mission at first of regional meetings
Friday, September 15, 2017
Interim Director of Legislative Services Lori Sattenspiel and Legislative Specialist Richard Donovan ask for local input at a meeting Thursday at Seaside High School, the first of OSBA’s 2017 Fall Regional Meetings. (Photo by Jake Arnold, OSBA)
What the Legislature did and what districts want it to do dominated the conversation Thursday night at OSBA’s first 2017 Fall Regional Meeting.
Representatives from five area districts listened as OSBA staff pulled back the curtains on the 2017 session.
“I know you probably read quite a few stories about different issues going on in the Legislature,” OSBA Interim Director of Legislative Services Lori Sattenspiel told the audience at Seaside High School. “Well, it was a little more contentious than that in the Capitol building.”
Sattenspiel and Legislative Specialist Richard Donovan recapped the challenges as well as the successes, including holding the line on unfunded mandates, scaling back physical education requirements and protecting recreational immunity.
“The legislative update is what I like,” said Mark Truax, Seaside School Board member. “It’s nice to get caught up on the legislative session and to catch up with other school board members.”
Between Thursday and Oct. 26, OSBA staff will have traveled to 21 locations around Oregon. OSBA executives and Legislative Services staff will update members on 2017 legislative action, the Promise of Oregon campaign and changes to OSBA’s organizational structure.
The heart of the meetings, though, is membership input. Participants Thursday talked about burdensome accountability initiatives, the need for local control and their frustration with divisive politics. They also broke into groups to discuss where they would like OSBA to put its attention.
Jewell School District Superintendent Alice Hunsaker discusses local accountability issues at OSBA’s Seaside regional meeting. (Photo by Jake Arnold, OSBA)
“Board member engagement is so important for shaping OSBA’s policies and programs to support public education,” said OSBA Board President Betty Reynolds. “The regional meetings are an opportunity to reach members one on one.”
OSBA Executive Director Jim Green showed the Promise campaign’s new video celebrating graduation at high schools around the state. The public awareness campaign for 2017-18 is focusing on improving graduation rates. Green also talked about the power of local advocacy.
“It takes time and it takes momentum to get things done.” Green said. “We need you to hold your legislators accountable.”
Green promised that OSBA would continue to work on cost containment, accountability and revenue reform issues with the Legislature.
Mike Wammack said the meeting had provided information he was looking for as a new member of the Jewell School Board.
The weeknight Fall Regional Meetings offer a chance for school board members to visit with colleagues from nearby districts, share ideas and meet candidates for the OSBA Board of Directors.
“It is always good to see a group of individuals from our region to share ideas,” said Sheila Roley, superintendent of Seaside School District. “It provides for spirited conversation.”