Parasa Chanramy
Policy & Advocacy Manager

Parasa manages Stand's policy and advocacy programs, working with members and elected leaders to improve schools.

The second week of the legislature’s 2016 short session wrapped up yesterday. Here’s a quick roundup on some of the bills we’re tracking:

House Bills

Chronic Absenteeism. Both Rep. Gallegos’ bill (HB 4002) and Rep. Doherty’s bill (HB 4031) passed out of the House Education Committee last Friday. Both bills have been referred to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. 

There’s also been some great coverage recently on chronic absenteeism in The Oregonian. Read more about it here.

Network of Quality Teaching and Learning. Rep. Frederick’s bill (HB 4033) on improving cultural competence for Oregon teachers and ensuring that teachers are trained in culturally relevant educational practices passed unanimously out of the House Education Committee. It heads to the House floor next.

Summer Learning. Rep. Smith Warner’s bill (HB 4050) was amended recently to include: two representatives from the State House, two senators from the State Senate, and a representative from a community-based organization which provides summer programs on the Summer Learning Policy Advisory Council. On Wednesday, the amended bill (HB 4050-4) passed out of the House Education Committee and was referred to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

For more information on summer learning loss, please check out our blog.

Poverty Weight Reporting. Rep. Whisnant’s bill (HB 4057) was amended to require the Oregon Department of Education to produce a narrative report on how each district is spending their additional poverty weight dollars, and what best practices, programs and services are being used to increase achievement for students from families in poverty. HB 4057A passed out of the House Education Committee on Monday. This bill moves to the House floor next.

Senate Bills

English Language Learners (ELL). Sen. Roblan’s bill (SB 1564) was amended to include language that requires the Oregon Department of Education to share a copy of the annual ELL report with school boards. That way local districts have an opportunity to engage school leaders, parents and community members in analyze out progress and work collectively to improve outcomes for ELL students. SB 1564A passed out of the Senate Education Committee on Monday. It heads to the Senate floor next.

Here’s a copy of our coalition support letter for the bill and the amendment.

Study on District Spending. Sen. Hass’ bill (SB 1541) was amended to have the Oregon Department of Education review school district spending; identify and evaluate multiple factors that may affect district spending levels like class size, staffing levels, compensation and the length of the school year; determine whether differences in spending are connected to student outcomes, like attendance, test results, and graduation rates. This amended bill (SB 1541-1) passed out of the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday--it heads to the Senate floor next.

We’ll continue to keep you posted throughout session. If you have any questions, please let me know.

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