What it does: Under Oregon law, a legal claim is the only mechanism for a citizen to allege a violation of Oregon’s various public meetings laws. HB 4140 would give the Oregon Government Ethics Committee broad oversight for complaints of public meetings law violations against elected officials and advisers to elected officials, including school and education service district board members. The bill would also place new training requirements on these officials and advisers to be completed every two years.
What’s next: The House Rules Committee has scheduled a public hearing Thursday, Feb. 10.
What it does: To diversify Oregon’s teaching workforce, the Legislature enacted the Minority Teacher Act of 1991. From 1991 until 2015, the diversity goals of that act were largely unmet. In 2015, HB 3375 updated the act and renamed it the Educators Equity Act. Changes included a broader definition of “equity” and a goal of having Oregon’s teaching workforce be broadly reflective of Oregon’s student population. HB 4031 would add the Oregon Department of Education to the list of entities responsible for achieving the goal of having the workforce reflect Oregon’s diverse student population.
What’s next: The House Education Committee held a public hearing on this bill Thursday, Feb. 3, and has scheduled a work session Tuesday, Feb. 8.
What it does: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents have alleged that some students, often students on Individualized Education Plans or who otherwise receive accommodations, have been denied the same number of school days and hours as the majority of their peers. Legal restrictions around this process were established by Senate Bill 263 (2017), and the complaint process for these allegations takes place at the school district level. SB 1578 would create a separate, direct-appeal process to the Oregon Department of Education and put into place strict timelines for compliance. It would also give ODE the authority to put corrective action plans in place in districts and allow for withholding State School Fund money.
What’s next: The Senate Education Committee has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday, Feb. 8, and a work session Thursday, Feb. 10.