Legislative Report - Week of 1/15
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By Jean Pierce
LWVOR will be tracking the progress of legislation that would appropriate $5M to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) for establishing and awarding grants for basic needs programming at public higher education institutions. This money could be used for food, housing, utilities, transport, textbooks, and other emergency needs not covered by financial aid packages.
HB3561 (2023) Implementation: In 2023, HB3561 passed to provide scholarships and grants awarded to ensure Oregon has an adequate supply of early childhood care and education professionals. However, the $5.2 million requested to fund the program was denied, so now they are requesting $2.5M. The scholarship program’s purpose is to provide a diverse and well-trained supply of early childhood professionals providing childcare. Many early childhood education students are teacher assistants who do not earn sufficient money to pay teacher education costs. Higher education institutions report long waiting lists of people who would like to become qualified as Early Childhood Care and Education Professionals. Not only would this help address the teacher shortage, but it permits parents to be fully employed.
General Education Update
By Anne Nesse
LWVOR will follow a few of these Legislative Concepts In the coming short session.
From House Education Committee: 1/10/23
LC 229, would increase the weight of funding to school districts with high homeless student populations. It would also remove the state funding cap on the amount that districts receive for children with disabilities.
LC 230, helps with funding and design problems for a proposed 9 (20-30 students each) High School Regional Addiction Recovery Schools. (This program is innovative in the United States, successfully begun by a pilot project during the last session.)
LC 231, helps to create a statewide uniform school record-keeping method, to increase accountability.
LWVOR members who have worked many years on the Dolly Parton book initiatives will be happy that HB 3198, which passed last session, included this funding concept for the Dept. of Early Learning and Care (DELC). A House Education report indicated that DELC is attempting to partner with libraries throughout the state to continue program implementation for all young children.
From House Early Childhood and Human Services Committee: 1/10/23
Testimony on these issues aligns with our 2024 priorities:
LC 203, hopes to provide emergency help for highly troubled youth, attempting to avoid added stress associated with temporary foster housing placement.
LC 189, from Chair Reynolds, concerning establishing Nurse-Family Partnership visitations and instruction to include low-income and BIPOC families in the care of their child from 0 to the first 1,000 days of life, or until income and child care stability is established.
From Senate Education Committee: 1/11/23
A required report was published by Sen. Dembrow & Committee, on the Quality Education Model, and its current inability to distribute sufficient funds, over many years, to meet our goals consistently from year to year.
LC 219, the Educational Omnibus Bill will attempt to make several changes to Oregon’s education laws to improve meeting our goals. This draft document, worked on by a select committee, is 63 pages long. It begins with acknowledging the establishment of a Youth Advisory Council, understanding that these youth are the recipients of our decision-making processes. This law will address funding inequities of Oregon's quality public school education model. It attempts to solve problems associated with special education funding and many other issues.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, or wish to become involved with any of these issues.