Parasa Chanramy
Policy & Advocacy Manager

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

I can’t believe that session is already half way over. Here’s an overview of bills that have made it to the opposite chamber.

House --> Senate

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 the House unanimously and on Wednesday made it through the Senate Education Committee. The bill now heads to the Senate floor for a second reading today.

Poverty Weight Reporting. Rep. Whisnant’s bill (HB 4057A) requires 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 also passed the House unanimously and was referred to the Senate Education Committee. On Wednesday, the bill passed out of the committee. It, too, heads to the Senate floor for a second reading today.

Senate --> House

English Language Learners (ELL). Sen. Roblan’s bill (SB 1564A) 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 progress and work collectively to improve outcomes for ELL students. SB 1564A passed the Senate with overwhelming support. It has a hearing in the House Education Committee today.

Study on District Spending. Sen. Hass’ bill (SB 1541A) asks the Oregon Department of Education to 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. SB 1541A passed the Senate on Thursday. It heads to the House soon.

Bills that are waiting to be heard before the Joint Committee on Ways and Means

Two Chronic Absenteeism Bills. Rep. Gallegos’ bill (HB 4002) directs the Oregon Department of Education to develop and implement a statewide plan to address chronic absenteeism in Oregon. The fiscal impact of this bill is $25,000 for the 2015-17 biennium. HB 4002 bill passed out of the House Education Committee and now waits to be scheduled before the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

Rep. Doherty’s bill (HB 4031) directs the Chief Education Office to design and implement a pilot program to decrease rates of school absenteeism using trauma-informed approaches to education, health services, and intervention strategies. The fiscal impact for this bill is $5.7 million for the 2015-17 biennium. This bill also passed out of the House Education Committee and is waiting to be scheduled before the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

Summer Learning. Rep. Smith Warner’s bill (HB 4050A) establishes a Policy Advisory Council on Summer Learning that is charged with making policy recommendations to ensure that children from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade are provided with meaningful summer education programs by January 1, 2022. This fiscal impact of this bill could exceed an estimated $200,000. HB 4050A passed out of the House Education Committee and was referred to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

Check back next Friday for another update. And if you have any questions in the meantime, please let me know.

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