September 14, 2021 Sine Die - Week 25
EDUCATION Chris Vogel and Anne Nesse
This spreadsheet link shows testimony from LWVOR in 2021. We wrote testimony on 23 bills; 15 were signed into law by the Governor after passage on the House and Senate floors.
In addition to the 15 bills we wrote testimony on that the Governor signed into law, the spreadsheet also shows 8 bills we supported that may come back in another session, having died in committees.
Bills becoming law that LWVOR wrote testimony on based on LWV Positions (bill numbers and LWVOR testimony in the spreadsheet):
Evaluates/refines programs in workforce agencies through WorkSource Oregon system SB 623, Testimony (Missed filing deadline, letter to committee chairs in support)
Federal meal program, “free” meals for less than 300 % of federal poverty guidelines HB 2536, Testimony (Missed filing deadline, letter to committee chairs in support)
Bills with LWVOR legislative action support that died in committee:
Would have established reporting for accountability measures related to indicators of school quality and student success including recess, well rounded curriculum including art, music, more HB 3338, Draft testimony saved for 2022 Bill interim task force, OEA bill opposed by COSA and OSBA
Would have required immunizations against childhood diseases designated by ODE/OHA except when an MD cited health hazards, tracked MD reporting, removed religious and parental opt-out SB 254, Draft testimony saved for 2022, Pulled before hearing, controversy
Creation of the new Division of Early Learning and Care is, perhaps, the most significant Education bill to pass this session, because…
HB 3073 builds on Oregon’s work to increase access to affordable, high-quality early learning experiences and support for children and families by establishing a new early learning agency. The bill establishes the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC), which will consolidate all early child care services into one state agency, including licensing, registration, and the distribution of state and federal child care funds, including Employment Related Day Care (ERDC). Most of these key functions currently exist in the Early Learning Division (ELD), which is part of the Oregon Department of Education. The bill creates DELC beginning January 1, 2023, and the transfer of ERDC from Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) to DELC by July 1, 2023. The bill also requires progress reports to the Legislature on the different transitions.
You’ve heard about a new law that let’s high school students graduate without proving they have tested knowledge? Is that true?
SB 744 has garnered a great deal of press since the session end (Oregonian Editorial Board, Editorial by Legislature Education Chairs Dembrow and Alonso Leon).
LWVOR members are known for going directly to original sources for information, so this is a good time to do just that—listen, read the bill in final format. Don’t miss the robust debate on the House floor, discussion and vote, on June 14 (1:14:19) showing diverse perspectives on “essential skills” required for graduation. Listen to the previous two committee hearings March 3 in Senate Education (at 22:30 min), and May 25 in House Education (1 hour 15 min), House Education work session on May 27 (29:00 min), and the Senate floor discussion and vote on April 21 (1:27:25) to understand the intention of the bill.
This bill initially addressed a ten-year old problematic “Essential Skills” requirement from 2008 that was initially perceived as a community project or milestone launch for graduating seniors but morphed into a standardized written test creating false barriers for some. Special education students experiencing disabilities were unintentionally adversely impacted by this requirement (gaining an alternative certificate rather than a diploma), resulting in disparity in graduation rates—not supporting inclusion, equity and opportunity. Written testimony for public hearings, runs the gambit of discussion, with some false assumptions that rigor and accountability were being diminished. This bill was supported by: Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Business Council, Oregon Education Association, and Foundations for a Better Oregon—all credible, respected voices in education. At session end the Oregon Department of Education outlined the ODE plan to implement directives in SB 744. ODE notes “SB 774 applies to the assessment of Essential Skills requirements for receiving a Regular or Modified Diploma and does not suspend the local performance assessment requirements for students in grades 3 through 8 and at least once in high school. ODE is in the process of reviewing the Essential Skills requirements for the incoming 9th graders (Class of 2025). The legislature is requiring a final report, with recommendations, by September of 2022. Pending this review of the state requirements for high diploma options, ODE will provide additional information on Essential Skills to Oregon districts and educators.”
Education funding bills are complex. You’ll find final bills and fiscal for Legislatively Approved Budgets (LAB) here.
For those wishing to dig into the fine budget details of the Education agencies and the state school fund, these links provide minutia. Additional School District budgeting can be found on the Oregon Department of Education site, K-12 School Funding Information.
AGENCY BUDGET BILLS Budget Bill Fiscal Details, LFO
Learning, Youth Development) Budget Recommendation
Looking at the 2021 legislative session through the eyes of others provides a comprehensive perspective on Education policy and funding, read more…
The Legislative Policy and Research Office summarized selected measures that were considered by the 2021 Oregon Legislative Assembly. LPRO’s education summary links to the 136 bills heard in house and senate education committees. LPRO links to all bills heard in committee maps the whole 2021 legislative session.
The Oregon School Board Association and Coalition of School Administrators jointly publish an OSBA/COSA end of session report each legislative session.
The Higher Education Coordinating Commission, HECC, provides 2021 Legislative Session Resources showing the Legislative Approved Budget (LAB), position papers, workgroups and written testimony regarding Community College and Universities governance.
The Early Learning Division, soon to transition to the Division of Early Learning and Care, published this Legislative Recap.
Additionally, these end-of session reports round out the accomplishments in Education Policy of the 2021 session and the additional work to be continued in future sessions. Follow these links for more:
Volunteer with LWVOR now to impact 2022 education bills. Early Learning, Child Care, K-12, Higher Education, Career Technical Education, and Youth Development are within this portfolio’s responsibility. We are seeking additional volunteers as Chris Vogel has departed for retirement travel. Contact Anne Nesse email@example.com.