April 18, 2022 - Sine Die
By Anne Nesse
Large New Educational Funding Laws
SB 1545-A was Governor Brown’s workforce training bill funded by federal and state general funds. This “establishes Prosperity 10,000 Program in Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to be administered by local workforce development boards to provide workforce development services and wraparound support to program participants. The program is specifically targeted at ‘priority populations’, defined as communities of color, women, low-income communities, rural and frontier communities, veterans, persons with disabilities, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, members of Oregon’s nine federally recognized Indian tribes, and individuals who disproportionately experience discrimination in employment on the basis of age.” The fiscal expenditures include: Oregon Department of Education 10.5 million, HECC 167.3 million, Bureau of Labor and Industries 20 million. Signed by the Governor 3/17/22.
HB 4005-E A to secure funding for the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). $2 million for Relief Nurseries, $2 Million to raise wages in Healthy Families Oregon. The legislature also allowed the $800,000 allocated in 2021 to be spent on wages instead of expansion. $122,830 to restore services in Healthy Families Oregon, $3.6 million for operations costs to establish the Department of Early Learning & Care, $21 million for the Oregon Center for Career Development to provide two annual $500 recognition and retention payments to people currently working in early childhood). $22 million for Seeding Justice to create a child care capacity building grant program, $7.9 million for the United We Heal Training Trust for child care services (a partnership of AFSCME and Unite OR). $1.2 million for Euvalcree to renovate and strengthen their child care training center, $8.2 million for Neighbor Impact to support child care start up in Central Oregon.The last piece of this package was $26 million for rate increases. Signed by the Governor 3/9/22.
Testimony 2022 Submitted by LWV Education Portfolio
SB 1521-E Sets a legal precedent related to state oversight of elected school boards. This law specifically relates to contracts, and termination of superintendents by the elected school boards, without cause, while the superintendent is obeying federal and state law. It also provides superintendents with one year notice if a school board chooses to terminate their contract without good cause (showing failure in some way). Women superintendents and superintendents of color felt particularly exposed to this bias. LWV testified in support of this partisan contested bill, Signed by the Governor 3/17/22.
HB 4124-E This bill and funding was necessary to maximize Oregon students instructional time for education, as well as maximizing emotionally healthy learning. A data collection law on best practices academic testing. Results of data collection will be reported no later than May 1, 2024, with preliminary data assessment by July 1, 2023. LWV testified in support of this bipartisan supported law, signed by the Governor 3/23/22.
HB 4115/A A bill to direct the State Treasurer and the Oregon Investment Council to publish annually, a complete list of assets held in investment funds that have climate-related financial risk. This potential law was presented by the Climate Emergency and the Education portfolio. It was not a debate on fossil fuels investments, but government transparency. It did not have time to pass in the short session. LWVOR Testimony.
Governance and Funding Laws
HB 4013-E A grant program under the Department of Human Services to assist unaccompanied homeless youth in finding shelter, mental health or substance abuse services. Signed by the Governor 3/23/22
HB 4026-E A grant program to assist school districts impacted by wildfires using state moneys. Signed by the Governor 3/23/22.
HB 4030-E A law attempting to start the process of addressing workforce shortages in all areas of education throughout Oregon. This was occurring spontaneously due to retirements, all states having difficulty staying competitive with wages and benefits, and the changing natures of keeping up with student needs. This is a bipartisan and continuing effort: including recruitment/retention grants for high need teachers and staff, removing barriers to licensure, improving reciprocity between states, and securing a common background check process. LWVOR has been represented at these meetings of statewide workgroups, and will continue to do so through September 2022.
SB 1572-E Allows for new provisions relating to previous legislation, concerning loan forgiveness for teachers in higher education. Signed by the Governor 3/23/22.
SB 1522-E A is a collection of technical fixes and funding of bills passed last year, including improvements to health care coverage for part-time higher education faculty, improvements to the Oregon Promise Program (focusing on low-income students), pilot programs at Coffee Creek women’s correctional prison and Snake River Institution allowing access to internet prison education, as well as expanding access to in-state university tuition for immigrants. Signed by the Governor 3/23/22.
HB 4128-E Relates to the study and education concerning zoonotic diseases that can cause transmission of illness from animals to humans, causing epidemics and pandemics. Signed by the Governor 3/3/22.
HB 4031-E A is a law declaring the commitment of the Oregon Department of Education to employ a percentage of diverse employees and educators that reflects the diversity of Oregon’s population. Signed by the Governor 3/23/22.
HB 5202-E The final budget law, signed by the Governor 4/4/22. This includes funding
for many expenditures towards education and equity and diversity programs, using federal, state corporate activity tax, and general funds. The bill included $150 million for summer learning programs for children and youth, based on community supports. This was based on a successful program last year that provided summer camps and educational opportunities available to all families, regardless of their economic status.