Legislators are introducing bill concepts this week as part of virtual Legislative Committee Days. The 2022 short session opens Feb. 1 and cannot last past March 7.
The bill would require school boards to assess themselves every two years to create a professional learning plan in collaboration with the superintendent. Learning plans would have to address equity and board governance and establish specific training requirements for board chairs, vice chairs and new board members. The first assessments would be due in 2023, and plans would start in 2024.
OSBA and the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators supported a nearly identical bill last session that had broad support but got hung up in committee. OSBA and COSA support this board training effort as well.
Rep. Mark Owens, R-Crane, expressed concern that some school boards might be resistant to mandated training or directives from the state, negating the bill’s intentions.
OSBA Legislative Services Director Lori Sattenspiel, testifying before the committee, emphasized that the goal is to give school boards as much local control and flexibility as possible to create a training plan tailored to boards’ needs and goals.
Reynolds School Board member Rep. Ricki Ruiz, D-Gresham, and former Hillsboro School Board member Rep. Janeen Sollman, D-Hillsboro, were among those supporting the bill, drawing from their own experience with school board training.
Legislators have said they will respond this session to high-profile conflicts in the past year between school boards and superintendents. This bill is one of the chief answers.