HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION

 

 

March 31, 2003   Hearing Room E

1:00 PM Tapes  55 - 56

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Vic Backlund, Chair

Rep. Elaine Hopson, Vice-Chair

Rep. Brad Avakian

Rep. Billy Dalto

Rep. Mary Nolan

Rep. Wayne Scott

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:            Rep. Pat Farr, Vice-Chair

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Jim Keller, Committee Administrator

Jeana Harrington, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES HEARD:                     HB 3104 – Public Hearing

                                                HB 3557 – 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 55, A

004

Chair Backlund

Calls meeting to order at 1:43 PM. Welcomes colleagues and audience. Opens public hearing on HB 3104. 

HB 3104 – PUBLIC HEARING

009

Jim Keller

Committee Administrator. Reads Staff Measure Summary (SMS) on HB 3104.

008

Rep. Max Williams

House District 35. Testifies in favor of HB 3104. States he sponsored the bill at the request of the school board in his district. Note the bill would change the mandatory requirement of transportation for schools. Believes the issue is a mandate worthy of conversation. Discusses the differing situations among districts.

040

Rep. Hopson

Understands the need for discussion in the area. Asks that if the option was left to school districts, how children who have parents unable to transport would cope.

050

Rep. Williams

Thinks management could entail a fee for the transportation component of participation in activities. Notes some districts are suspending regional activity trips as a result of budget cuts. Believes the best decision is made by school boards.

065

Rep. Hopson

Asks if he is aware of the bill in the senate that increases the rate of reimbursement in some rural districts.

071

Rep. Williams

Explains he is unfamiliar with the details of the bill

074

Rep. Hopson

Discusses the districts spending on transportation. Believes the bill came out of Senator Deckert’s committee.

079

Rep. Williams

Believes the issues underscores the need for discussion of educational funding matters to districts. Reiterates local districts should assess their own transportation needs given the current budget situation. Notes transportation is one of the more expensive educational mandates.

111

Rep. Nolan

Asks if Rep. Williams is aware of any other state services where transportation is provided.

115

Rep. Williams

Responds of public partnerships in his district where services are provided for seniors when they qualify for subsidized programs. Lists the American Red Cross as involved in the issue.

136

Rep. Nolan

Comments.

138

Chair Backlund

Clarifies the issue was brought forth by his district school board. Asks how he would assess the issue in statewide.

145

Rep. Williams

Explains he has not had great response on the matter. Explains his hopes of engendering the committee’s awareness into the matter.

163

Rep. Hopson

Clarifies Rep. Williams sees this as something that should be on the agenda when long term budget issues are discussed

166

Rep. Williams

Concurs that is a fitful way to describe the approach to it and other transportation issues.

188

Ed Edwards

Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA). Testifies in opposition of HB 3104 (EXHIBIT A). Discusses the issues of transportation. States OSEA supports current laws. Believes the issue is also a matter of safety. Believes the bill could make it difficult for all children to access education.

242

John Marshall

Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA). Notes the time he spent last week listening to the testimony in the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education. Seems to him that all educational matters should be eligible for discussion. Believes that when decisions fall to education program cuts, transportation issues should be included as they are a mandate. Urges the committee to seriously consider HB 3104. Notes the bill allows districts to make their own considerations.

294

Rep. Avakian

Asks what his estimate of the effect on transportation.

299

Marshall

Doubts that transportation would be eliminated. Offers that decisions on ‘walk-zones’ may be adjusted. Notes the allowance

305

Rep. Avakian

Believes the safety of children is an important consideration.

310

Marshall

Negates. Provides there will continue to be safety requirements.

315

Rep. Avakian

Clarifies the issues of safety is one of students transporting themselves to school.

325

Marshall

Argues those issues should be more appropriately discussed at a local school level.

335

Rep. Hopson

Disputes that rich and poor suburbs exist within the same school district and voices concern that needs may be overlooked.

342

Marshall

Suggests there is a mix of students within districts. Reiterates belief that school districts should be in charge of the matter.

361

Rep. Hopson

Requests  if Mr. Marshall is aware of other state using public transportation in metro areas.

374

Marshall

Notes bus passes are provided to some students in Portland and Eugene.

382

Rep. Dalto

Comments on his own experiences with transportation as a student in New York City.

390

Chair Backlund

Closes public hearing on HB 3104. Opens public hearing on HB 3557.

HB 3557 – PUBLIC HEARING

TAPE 56, A

008

Jim Green

Oregon S. Testifies in favor of HB 3557 (EXHIBIT B). Notes he introduced the bill at the request of his members. Discusses the requirement of charter schools to be non-profit organizations. Speaks on tax considerations of charter schools and 501(C)(3) status. Comments on the difficulty in finding board members for the non-profit boards. Explains the changes to the bill. States he has spoken to much of the education committee, and that he knows of no objection.

045

Rep. Avakian

Clarifies the premise of the bill in terms of contraction of charter schools.

051

Green

Explains it is essentially what is in the alternative school program currently

060

Rep. Avakian

Clarifies it is a different process. Asks what other purpose the new  law allow would serve.

070

Green

Affirms. Responds

078

Rep. Avakian

Clarifies.

080

Green

Responds listing the reasons behind the bill.

096

Rep. Avakian

Notes the legislature has passed laws governing schools that do not include charter. Remarks further.

105

Green

Responds.

114

Rep. Avakian

Does not believe the current charter school law creates public charter schools. Speaks to the allowances made to the schools.  

127

Green

Negates. Offers the bill does not prohibit creation of charter schools.

129

Rep. Nolan

Questions the reason to charter an entire district is to achieve federal money. Comments on the purpose of the funds. Asks if Mr. Green can admit that the districts would not return for a ‘bailout’ to achieve state funds.

140

Green

Responds he cannot affirm as all school funding is questionable in the foreseeable future.

160

Rep. Nolan

Requests the number of students in Paisley.

170

Green

Estimates around 110 including international students. Explains the real figure may be around 65-80.

180

Rep. Nolan

Discusses the budget figures per student. Requests the ability of Paisley to come up with the funds when federal funds stop.

185

Green

Believes the Paisley School District fully understands the implication of the charter and notes the work on funding.

193

Rep. Nolan

Voices concern in the statewide system being ‘piecemealed’.

200

Green

Explains the solution will not be ‘piecemealed out’. Comments further on Paisley.

214

Chair Backlund

Asserts that he anticipated moving the bill to work session. Believes concerns have been raised and in view of them there will not be a work session. Closes public hearing on HB 3557. Adjourns meeting at 2:23 PM.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – HB 3104, Ed Edwards, 1 p

B – HB 3557, Jim Green, 2 p