No emergent emergency has emerged
by Chuck Bennett, Director of Governmental Relations
“No emergent emergency has
emerged,” appears to be the common opinion as state legislators complete their
second week of their first experiment in annual sessions of the legislature.
Okay, so the Willamette River
hasn’t crested over Mt. Tabor, that doesn’t mean legislators in Salem couldn’t put their
time in town to good use, and for K-12 education they did. That isn’t to suggest
that legislators figured out how to provide adequate funding or make children
learn. They didn’t even try. What they did do, though, is the kind of activity
that makes life a little easier for somebody.
Here’s a quick rap up of action
- SB 1068, which allows districts
to continue to charge tuition for a second half day of kindergarten, assuming
they are offering half-day kindergarten and being reimbursed through the state
school fund, has passed the Senate Education Committee and will be on the
Senate Floor Thursday or Friday. Vote counts indicate the bill will pass and
probably with a comfortable majority. The bill does not allow districts to
charge low income students’ families or to offer two half-day kindergarten days
in one calendar day and expect to be reimbursed.
- SB 1067 extends the deadline for
replacement of R type halide or mercury vapor with T type bulbs until September.
The change over had been required by January. The bill also limits the required
change over for bulbs indoors or in covered areas used by students or
employees. It eliminates the requirement for parking lots and outdoor lit areas
or walkways that are not covered. The bill has passed the Senate unanimously
and the House Committee on Education also unanimously. It will be on the floor
of the House Thursday or Friday.
- HB 3600 allows school districts
to seek waivers to a new requirement that they offer 10th graders a
test like the PSAT or other test that predicts success on college entrance
exams using a state contracted testing company. The waiver allows districts
already offering the test with another company to continue to use that company
for one year.
- SB 1059 would require that a district school
board sending students to another school district agree to accept an equal
number of students from the receiving district and that a district receiving
students agree to send an equal number. This would have been required in all
inter-district transfer agreements. This bill failed to get out of the Senate
- SB 1097, which would have
created an expensive state-centered professional development bureaucracy and
requirements for local districts, also failed to get out of the Senate
We will have a full review of
all legislation and final action as soon as the Session ends. If you have any
questions or comments please contact Chuck Bennett.
This page was last updated on Monday, February 18, 2008 .