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UPDATE: Educator Advancement Council
Senate Bill 182-A
What it does: The bill would turn the existing Network for Quality Teaching and Learning into the Educator Advancement Council. Currently, the NQTL operates under an existing State School Fund carve out, with $39.5 million requested for the 2017-19 budget.
What’s new: The bill received a public hearing in the Joint Ways and Means Education Subcommittee on Monday, June 5. Proponents of the measure, including representatives of the Chief Education Office, presented the plan to repurpose the existing carve out to better serve educators throughout the state by creating two new layers of councils driven by educators: one at the state level and multiple local councils. These councils would be responsible for determining how the money in the carve out would be distributed. Education stakeholders – including representatives from OSBA, the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, and the Oregon Education Association – expressed concern with the measure, specifically in consideration of the current budget climate. If the money in the carve out were to be deposited into the State School Fund, it would mean millions of dollars for Oregon’s largest districts. “This is real money we’re talking about,” said Richard Donovan, OSBA legislative specialist. Other concerns included continued funding for requirements around dyslexia education, which are funded via the NQTL in the current biennium, and a desire to make sure that the bill precluded expending K-12 public education dollars outside the K-12 system.
What’s Next: The committee is waiting on amendments to the bill, which means that drafting of the final bill has not been completed. OSBA has been working with legislators and proponents of the measure to make sure the bill addresses concerns. OSBA remains neutral on the bill and appreciates the continued willingness of proponents of the measure to work collaboratively on the measure.
UPDATE: Charter student access to district extracurricular activities
Senate Bill 208-B
What it does: Currently, home-schooled students have a right to access extracurricular activities in the local district school. SB 208 would extend this right to charter school students. The bill also contains provisions by which the district school can negotiate a charge-back of up to 5 percent of ADMw to the charter school the student attends each year to cover costs, with the opportunity to charge a further 5 percent back for classes requiring course work, such as choir or band.
What’s new: On May 31, the House Education Committee amended and moved the bill to the House floor. The amendments altered the bill to make the charge-back provisions apply to all schools. Most committee members voted in favor of the bill, saying it benefitted students with little cost. Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn) opposed the bill in committee, saying that the charge-back provisions unnecessarily punished charter schools.
What’s next: The bill will move to the House floor, where a vote to concur with the new amendments and pass the bill is expected. There has been limited opposition to the base bill and to the broader charge-back provisions in the bill. OSBA supports the base bill and the amended bill and will monitor its progress.
Public bodies and immigration enforcement
House Bill 3464
What it does: The bill is a “tool” that public bodies, including school districts, could use when a school district is approached by federal immigration authorities asking for information about students or staff members or their relatives. The bill sets out requirements for what information cannot be disclosed related to federal immigration laws. The attorney general would adopt model policies that can be used to assist when dealing with federal immigration enforcement staff who might call or enter the school and ask for information. The bill’s tools would be optional for public bodies.
What’s new: The bill was heard in the House Rules Committee on Thursday, June 8. “This bill is a further step toward civil rights for all Oregonians,” said Gov. Kate Brown. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum followed the governor, saying, “Our office has had numerous calls from agencies and schools asking for guidance. … The bill helps with the uncertainty of how to respond to immigration enforcement who may show up at a school or other public agencies asking for information.”
What’s next: OSBA was consulted on the crafting of the bill as school districts already have policies on releasing student-related information. The bill received considerable testimony but was not acted on during the hearing and has not been scheduled for further action.
The OSBA News Center is the central hub for all the latest education information.