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No emergent emergency has emerged Print E-mail

chuck-bennettby 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 to date:

  • 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 Education Committee.

  • 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 Education Committee.

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.

Comments (2)Add Comment
Protein Drinks
written by linda Florence, February 28, 2008
Didn't a bill pass that stated no coach or teacher could suggest protein drinks (amino acids) be used for building muscle?
Protein drinks
written by Chuck Bennett, February 28, 2008
Protein drinks (amino acids) cannot be recommended for performance enhancement or to promote muscle growth under a bill passed in 2007. You should look at ORS 342.721-726, which covers this area and particularly at the definition of "performance-enhancing substance." The bill passed in the recent supplemental Session clarifies curriculum requirements.

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This page was last updated on Monday, February 18, 2008 .