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Legislative Report - Week of 5/15


By Anne Nesse

On May 8 Senate President Rob Wagner spoke representing that the mission statement of public schooling ‘is to provide equity, diversity, and inclusion, based on each individual students needs, with written and informed consent by its parents,’ during the public hearing on SB 819A with -13 amendments, concerning abbreviated school days for children with disabilities.

President Wagner supports this bill along with Senate leader Knopp, in a bipartisan effort. Parental rights were also discussed, and Rep. McIntire brought up the potential increased costs to our fiscal budget. Rep. Hudson assured there were some creative solutions school districts could use, and the enforcement of this law is already possible through TSPC, with a potential removal of the superintendent for non-compliant districts. Susan Allen from Oregon Classified Employees expressed some concerns over staffing shortages Kendall Mason of OEA, expressed the need for increased training and the need for the full funding of at least $10.3 Billion into our biennium school budget.

May 16, the school budget was under analysis in J W&M Education, LFO recommendations.

Another amendment was added on May 16 so that it could be voted out of Committee to JW&Ms. However the amount is still under funding requested initially by the Governor, and under what a number of advocates would like. Final decisions awaited the May 17 budget forecast.

5/9 in Senate Education, Sen. Dembrow pointed out there is state statute, that if a bill appears unreadable, this problem goes to a certain committee for solutions, not solved by a walk out, as some might have misunderstood.

Several Bills you might be interested in were referred to the Senate floor for passage:

HB 2753 A, providing rules for an optional stipend for school board members.

HB 2280 clarifies terms of consent for school district sexual harassment.

HB 2905, Social studies curriculum extension to include Jewish descent, as well as already listed African, Asian, Pacific Island, Chicano, Latino, [or] Middle Eastern or Jewish descent; (iii) are women; (iv) have disabilities;(v) are immigrants or refugees; or (vi) are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. (C) involve teachers and other educators, parents of students and other citizens and shall provide ample opportunity for public comment.

5/11 Senate Education passed a number of Bills to the floor, of interest for passage:

HB 3227 A, removing barriers to filling custodial services vacancies in education.

HB 2618 A, determining workload requirements of speech pathologists as soon as possible for the institution during the next school year.

HB 2281 A, appointing civil rights coordinator for school districts, to adequately deal with discrimination.

HB 2504 A, removing barriers to enter Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) from international sources.

HB 3178 A, modifies professional scholarships by HECC to include diverse teacher candidates that reflect our population.

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