HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION

 

 

February 12, 2003   Hearing Room E

1:30 PM Tapes  24 - 25

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Vic Backlund, Chair

Rep. Elaine Hopson, Vice-Chair

Rep. Pat Farr, Vice-Chair

Rep. Brad Avakian

Rep. Billy Dalto

Rep. Mary Nolan

Rep. Wayne Scott

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Jim Keller, Committee Administrator

Jeana Harrington, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURES HEARD:                     HB 2193 – Public Hearing and Work Session

                                                HB 2509 – Public Hearing

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 24, A

004

Chair Backlund

Calls meeting to order at 1:35 PM. Welcomes colleagues and audience. Opens public hearing on HB 2193.

HB 2193 PUBLIC HEARING

010

Jim Keller

Committee Administrator. Reads Staff Measure Summary (SMS).

015

Bret West

Assistant Commissioner, Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD). Testifies on HB 2193 (EXHIBIT A). Explains the bill. Notes the referral to Ways and Means. States amendments clarify the bill.

039

Chair Backlund

Closes public hearing and opens work session on HB 2193.  

HB 2193 WORK SESSION

042

Rep. Farr

MOTION:  Moves HB  2193 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation and BE REFERRED to the committee on Ways and Means by prior reference.

045

 

VOTE:  6-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Scott

 

Chair Backlund

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

048

Chair Backlund

Closes work session on HB 2193. Opens public hearing on 2509.

HB 2509 PUBLIC HEARING

050

Jim Keller

Reads SMS.

 

Ellen Wojahn

Submits written testimony on HB 2509 (EXHIBIT B).

060

William Lay

Chief Executive Officer, Pioneer Youth Corps (PYC). Informs the committee of the program. Explains the reasoning behind becoming a charter school. Testifies in opposition of HB 2509. Informs the committee of potential students prohibited by current caps on out-of-district.

112

Catherine Lay

League of Oregon Charter Schools. Testifies in opposition of HB 2509. Explains that it inhibits student access to charter schools.

160

Allison Walton

Parent. Testifies in opposition of HB 2509. Explains the circumstance her family faces with charter school waiting lists. Relates her experience to that of others. 

202

Rep. Hopson

Clarifies the school Ms. Walton’s son is currently attending.

206

Walton

Explains that her son currently attends middle school at PYC, but will be unable to attend high school there for a period of time.

212

Rep. Hopson

Questions whether the situation is prevented by the 80/20 rule.

216

Walton

Responds he is prevented from attending due to the provision.

221

Rep. Dalto

Asks Mr. Lay to return and testify.

224

W. Lay

Explains the PYC program further with regard to Ms. Walton’s circumstance.

242

Rep. Dalto

Clarifies the term ‘marginalized youth’.

244

W. Lay

Defines the term as troubled students who have not yet been sent to youth corrections or incarcerated. 

265

Rep. Hopson

Asks if the school is both private and charter.

270

W. Lay

Affirms and explains PYC is registered as a private, charter, and an alternative program.  Adds the programs are separate.

288

Rep. Hopson

Clarifies further.

293

W. Lay

Explains with regard to students’ districts. Differentiates between the programs with regard to waiting lists and rigor of each program.

327

Rep. Farr

Poses question regarding number of seats in the school.

330

W. Lay

Provides number of students in the programs.

333

Rep. Farr

Asks question concerning student enrollment.

338

W. Lay

Affirms and explains.

345

Rep. Farr

Clarifies seats are empty in his school while there is a waiting list for the other programs.

351

Rep. Avakian

Poses question for C. Lay concerning enrollment.

376

C. Lay

Responds that she believes so.  Offers examples of how the situation will become a problem in the future.

TAPE 25, A

002

C. Lay

Explains the future of charter school equalization. 

022

Rep. Avakian

Clarifies whether she is comfortable with certain changes in HB 2509.

025

C. Lay

Answers regarding the bill.

031

Rep. Avakian

Inquires as to what she would propose.

033

C. Lay

Explains her opinion further.

045

Rep. Avakian

Poses hypothetical question regarding equalization and the ideal charter school model.

052

C. Lay

Responds concerning public schools in Oregon. Believes that charter schools will never take the place of charter schools.

060

Rep. Avakian

Comments.

068

Rep. Dalto

Inquires if charter schools should compete against themselves.

069

C. Lay

Concurs and states that competition is necessary to improve and  achieve excellence.

076

Rep. Dalto

Clarifies whether certain charter schools will not survive.

080

C. Lay

Explains her earlier comment was regarding charter schools in other states. Gives examples of charter schools that have ceased to exist in Oregon. Differentiates between the scenarios.

095

Rep. Dalto

Refers to specific section of HB 2509. Asks her expectation of the caps.

102

C. Lay

Responds with an example of a charter school enrollment. Questions why charter districts do not exist if there is a need or them.

119

Rep. Farr

Informs her of the effects of the bill upon passage and relates those to her district.

127

C. Lay

Answers with number of students in her district.

128

Rep. Farr

Continues explanation.

140

Laurie Wimmer-Whalen

Oregon Education Association (OEA). Testifies in favor of HB 2193 (EXHIBIT C). Asks the committee to consider rescinding the subsequent referral to Ways and Means.

179

Tricia Smith

Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA). Testifies in support of HB 2193. Provides perspective on charter school sunset law establishment. Believes charter schools are important, but should never become a substitute for general public school education.

240

Rep. Avakian

Asks what concern they have for decrease in revenues.

245

Smith

Acknowledges that the funds will stay in the public school system but explains their allocation will be to a separate groups of students.

253

Rep. Avakian

Questions the concern for this.

254

Smith

Remarks that consideration to overall effects on the budget is necessary.

260

Rep. Scott

Requests the effects on general public schools.

264

Smith

Offers the further deterioration of the public school system with regard to staff and programs. Believes this could be exacerbated.

277

Whalen

Adds to Ms. Smith’s comments explaining the ways that districts are coping with the budget cuts.

295

Rep. Farr

Asks if the witnesses believe a ‘mass exodus’ would occur were the cap to be removed.   

298

Whalen

Believes ‘mass exodus’ is too strong a term.  Comments.

307

Rep. Farr

Questions if the concern is that more charter schools will accumulate.

308

Whalen

Replies regarding the issue.

310

Smith

Speaks to this concerning honors programs in general public schools.

328

Rep. Farr

Refers to Lincoln County and asks about pay increases to employees within the district.

335

Smith

Responds about the concern for administrative compensation packages in Lincoln County. States she does not represent the school board. Offers she is unsure of how to respond with regard to the bill.

358

Chair Backlund

Requests she review charter student versus public schools student with regard to funds.

360

Smith

Explains that essentially the district receives per student funds, and charter schools receive 80 percent of the amount of that allocation when a student attends the school.

378

Chair Backlund

Clarifies the 80 percent is for grades kindergarten through eighth. 

380

Smith

Concurs and adds that 95 percent of per student funds for grades nine through twelve go to charter schools.

381

Whalen

Points out the percentage does not account for the loss of all responsibility for the education of the students.

390

Bob Siewert

ODE. Testifies in favor of HB 2509. Delineates the process of appeals.

425

Rep. Hopson

Understands that those who ask for waivers have received them.

428

Siewert

Affirms.

432

Rep. Hopson

Clarifies that PYC has not requested a waiver.

435

Siewert

Affirms.

437

Rep. Hopson

Asks what oversight is given in helping charter schools to realize when they are unsuccessful.

439

Siewert

Defers to Ms. Gilles.

TAPE 24, B

003

Rep. Avakian

Clarifies which part of the bill the waiver can be applied to.

006

Joanie Gilles

ODE.  Explains that the waiver can apply to all parts of the bill with the exception of those listed.

013

Rep. Hopson

Restates interest in the oversight and accountability of charter schools.

018

Gilles

Answers and explains how ODE is involved in the process.

034

Rob Kramer

Executive Director, Oregon Charter Schools Association. Testifies in opposition of HB 2509. Recalls the problems faced by the legislature when the charter school policy first evolved. Informs the committee that charter schools have been waiting for the provision to sunset. Believes the issue is central to the charter school laws.

093

Rep. Avakian

Asks if both the public schools and the charter schools have economic interests.

095

Kramer

Responds that he does not believe so.

097

Rep. Avakian

Clarifies the perceived economic interest of public employees and those employed by charter schools.

099

Kramer

Restates earlier comments.

102

Rep. Avakian

Questions his opinion on unions.

103

Kramer

Replies the issue does not concern that. Explains it is specifically intended for the narrow economic interest of a group. Believes it is bad public policy. Believes the provision would significantly change charter school law in Oregon.

116

Chair Backlund

Announces that adults also have the best interest of the students in mind.

120

Kramer

Believes that may the case.

124

Chair Backlund

Voices concern that he disagree with this perception.

130

Kramer

Replies that was not his suggestion. Reiterates that the provision is specifically intended to limit children in charter schools for narrow economic interests.

139

Rep. Avakian

Requests Mr. Kramer’s notion of charter schools.

144

Kramer

Answers that charter schools are a choice.

154

Rep. Avakian

Asks what the purpose of the provision was.

156

Kramer

Believes it allows for a smooth transition of a statewide charter model.

163

Rep. Avakian

Asks what the transition is supposed to accommodate.

165

Kramer

Answers that question should be posed to those that requested it.

166

Rep. Avakian

Asks if he was one of those people.

167

Kramer

Negates.

172

Farr

Comments on this. Poses question regarding the breakdown of funds with regard to charter schools. States he is a proponent of charter schools because they provide specific services for students. Points out the potential loss of students altogether if the programs become unavailable.

219

Rep. Hopson

States she does not subscribe to the present hypothesis. Points out the fiscal climate to counter.

223

Kramer

Challenges the assumption that charter schools affect districts.

235

Rep. Hopson

Counters opinion.

239

Jim Green

Oregon School Boards Association. States OSBA membership is split on HB 2509. Explains the reasoning behind the creation of the cap. Discusses costs concerning charter schools. Lists concerns of districts regarding charter schools.  

310

Rep. Hopson

Poses question regarding oversight of failing charter schools.

323

Green

Explains the closure of a school due to lack of students. Estimates the time spent on the closure. Adds it is a rigorous process to create, and to close, a charter school. Lists reasons for specific charter school closures in Oregon.

362

Rep. Nolan

Invites Ms. Whalen back to testify. Asks her views on the origination of the provision and the interests behind it.

379

Whalen

Explains that OEA wants HB 2509 to become a law because it is fiscally responsible. Responds to the question of interests.

TAPE 25, B

002

Whalen

Continues that it is hard to justify the programs when the funding does not exist.

009

Chair Backlund

Closes public hearing on HB 2509. Adjourns meeting at 3:02 PM.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – HB 2193, Bret West, 1 p

B – HB 2509, Ellen Wojahn, 2 p

C – HB 2509, Laurie Wimmer-Whalen, 1 p