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Advocacy

Legislative Services Overview

COSA represents Oregon school leaders at the state and U.S. Capitol buildings. COSA's goal is to meet information needs of decision makers with the most current, well articulated information available on education policy, goals and funding. Information on legislation and policy development runs both ways and COSA's legislative team is determined to provide a two-way flow between members and lawmakers. COSA's positions on education-related legislation and policy are developed via the COSA Board of Directors; the executive committees of OASE, OASSA, OACOA and OESPA; and the OASE Education Leadership Coalition.

COSA Legislative Team

COSA Leadership—including the COSA Board; the executive committees of OASE, OACOA, OASSA and OESPA; and COSA's executive team—provides direction to the COSA legislative team. The opinions, suggestions and questions of COSA members are always welcome. Contact information for your COSA legislative team:  

Morgan Allen

Deputy Executive Director of Policy & Advocacy

503-581-3141 (office)

503-201-1864 (cell)

E-Mail

Ben Bowman

Legislative Affairs Specialist

503-581-3141 (office)

503-819-0121 (cell)

E-Mail

Legislative Report

2018 OSBA/COSA Legislative Report

Describes new laws impacting the personnel, operations, programs, and finance of school districts and ESDs.

2018 Legislative Report

2017 OSBA/COSA Legislative Report

Describes new laws impacting the personnel, operations, programs, and finance of school districts and ESDs.

2017 Legislative Report

2019 Legislative Session

The Time is Now: Invest in Oregon Students

Our public education system is key to keeping our economy strong, our communities healthy, and ensuring a good quality of life for every Oregonian. The 2019 Session offers a renewed opportunity to improve outcomes for students by investing in our schools and ensuring they have the resources to meet the diverse needs of all students.

In 2019 we can help Oregon's schools overcome decades of inadequate and unstable funding.  We can increase our graduation rates and add school days and instructional time. We can ensure that our students have reasonable class sizes and our schools are safe and welcoming for all students. We can close opportunity gaps for historicially underserved students, including students of color, students experiencing poverty, English Language Learners and students receiving special education services.

COSA Workgroups

After comparing notes on the challenges facing the students in their districts, superintendents posed a question: what are the three policy areas we could focus on during the 2019 Legislative Session that could produce the best outcomes for kids? After discussing the question among themselves, they traveled to regional meetings across the state and asked the same questions to other school administrators. In 2018, a consensus was reached to create workgroups on three key policy areas: early learning, education workforce development, and the social and emotional wellbeing of kids. 

However, instead of taking the traditional approach and drafting a legislative concept to introduce, COSA members decided to try something different.  We created an inclusive workgroup process and invited stakeholders from across various sectors, including teachers and early educators, parent and student representatives, healthcare, higher education, government agencies, non-profits, Oregon’s federally recognized tribes, and community-based organizations. Around two hundred people participated in one of the three workgroups over a six month process in 2018, and about half of those participants represented a group other than school administrators.  

Read the COSA Workgroups Report

2019 Legislative Priorities

COSA members have prioritized policy and funding recommendations for the 2019 Session that are focused on improving outcomes for and meeting the needs of all students.

COSA's 2019 Legislative Priorities

COSA has also drafted two bills to implement recommendations of the Education Workforce Development Workgroup and the Social and Emotional Determinants of Health and Education Workgroup.  

House Bill 2224 makes a meaningful investment in improving the social, emotional, and mental health of our students by providing resources to school districts to hire social workers, school counselors, school nurses, mental health specialists and other professionals to work with students and their families. Resources are also available to offer professional development around trauma-informed care and social and emotional learning for educators and students.

House Bill 2224 Fact Sheet

House Bill 2742 will grow and diversify the K-12 licensed and Pre-K educator workforce by expanding “Grow Your Own” educator pipeline programs that remove financial barriers for the next generation of educators and emphasize recruiting staff of color and bilingual staff.

House Bill 2742 Fact Sheet

Taking Action

The 2019 Legislative Session will begin on Tuesday, January 22 and the legislature is expected to remain in session until June. There are several ways to stay engaged during the legislative session, including writing to your state legislators and providing testimony in committee. To keep track of bills, committee agendas, meeting times, and more, visit the  Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) website .

Key Committees

House Education

The  House Education Committee  will be chaired by  Rep. Margaret Doherty  (D-Tigard) with scheduled meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00pm to 4:45pm in Hearing Room D.

Senate Education

The  Senate Education Committee  will be chaired by  Sen. Rob Wagner  (D-Lake Oswego) and will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00pm to 2:45pm in Hearing Room B.

Joint Committee on Student Success

The  Joint Committee on Student Success , co-chaired by  Rep. Barbara Smith Warner  (D-Portland) and  Sen. Arnie Roblan  (D-Coos Bay), will meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:00pm to 7:00pm in Hearing Room F.

Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education

The  Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education  will be co-chaired by  Rep. Susan McLain  (D-Forest Grove) and  Sen. Lew Frederick  (D-Portland); it will meet as necessary Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 9:45am in H-170.

Engaging with the Legislature

We encourage you to build a relationship with your representative   and senator  and offer yourself as a resource on education issues. Additionally, please use Phone2Action, a new advocacy program, to support COSA’s legislative agenda as issues arise. If you need assistance getting in contact with your legislators or have questions about bills or the budget, please contact the COSA Legislative Affairs team.