SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION

 

 

March 20, 2003   Hearing Room C

3:00 PM    Tapes 38-39

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Sen.  Charles Starr, Chair

Sen.  Ryan Deckert, Vice-Chair

Sen. Ted Ferrioli

Sen. Bill Morrisette

MEMBER EXCUSED:

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Jan McComb, Committee Administrator

Anna Suess, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:            SB 405 – Public Hearing

                                                SB 760 – Public Hearing

                                                SJR 7 – Work Session

 

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 38, A

005

Chair Starr

Calls meeting to order at  3:05 PM and opens a public hearing on SB 405.

SB 405 – PUBLIC HEARING

010

Jan McComb

Committee Administrator. Provides a summary of SB 405.

015

Rob Kremer

Executive Director Oregon Charter School Service Center. Provides further elaboration on SB 405.

100

Susan Giller

Developer and Administrator of the Field of Dreams Public Carter Middle School. Proponent of SB 405. Provides written testimony in support of SB 405 (EXHIBIT A).

120

Giller

Continues discussion on SB 405:

·         Charter Schools and Municipal Audit Issues

·         Charter school law ORS 297.435

180

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks for clarification on the difference between a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a bookkeeper.

185

Giller

States a CPA has a college degree certification and has taken a CPA  exam. States that under the municipal audit law you are required to have a certified CPA perform a municipal audit and financial statement.

195

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks for clarification of the differences from CPA and general bookkeeping services.

200

Giller

Asks for elaboration on the question.

202

Sen. Ferrioli

States he is not certain if the bookkeeper is capable of providing the same certifications that a CPA can provide. States that the CPA is responsible for legal compliance for funding, and states he is unsure if a general bookkeeper can be held accountable.

210

Giller

States that the mandates for a municipal audit and the CPA standards have a larger rate per hour. States that charter school are not excluded using a CPA to do the bookkeeping, however the mandates for which a CPA charges for a municipal audit versus a CPA that is doing regular business accounting.

230

Sen. Ferrioli

States that he believes that a CPA needs to be involved in the administration of public funds of charter schools..

240

Giller

Agrees.

250

Giller

Begins discussion on the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS).

285

Catherine Lay

President, Oregon Charter Schools. Begins discussion in support of  SB 405 and provides written testimony (EXHIBIT B).

350

C. Lay

Continues testimony:

·         Teaching staff cost comparisons

·         PERS

·         Cost of Municipal Audits

TAPE 39, A

020

C. Lay

·         Concludes testimony.

050

William Lay

Executive Director of the Pioneer Youth Corps. Provides testimony in support of SB 405.

125

Laurie Wimmer Whelan

Oregon Education Association. Provides testimony in opposition to SB 405. States that the bill provides a lapse of financial accountability. States that the removal of PERS for Charter Schools is also unacceptable.

170

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks what the municipal standard does for a school district, and what is accomplished by the standard.

184

Whelan

Defers the question to another more informed entity.

187

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks for clarification of current tier-1 employees in charter schools, unless they moved from a public school.  States that the language states that charter schools may offer PERS or may offer an alternative program. Asks if there may be a positive influence  for Tier 1 and Tier two members.

210

Whelan

States that employees moving over from school districts into a charter school would not have their service credits would not be credited to their accounts.

215

Sen. Ferrioli

States that the employee would be aware of this when they moved over to a charter school.

222

Whelan

States that the idea of optional is not an employee option, it is a charter schools option.

230

Sen. Ferrioli

States that the issue is negotiable through contracts.

235

Whelan

States that department feels that all public entities to remain in PERS to maintain its stability.

240

Sen. Ferrioli

Comments on the compelling public interest to reduce the cost of PERS.

245

Whelan

Restates the Associations opposition to SB 405.

245

Kris Oliveira

CPA. Provides testimony in support of SB 405 and provides written testimony (EXHIBIT C).

320

Oliveira

Continues testimony:

·         Municipal Audits

·         Costs of Municipal Audits

·         Governmental Reporting Model

·         Concludes testimony

415

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks for clarification between  accountants and accountancy.

435

Oliveira

States that an accountant has a four year degree, but has not taken a CPA exam. A CPA is licensed, whereas a bookkeeper has no accrediting standards.

450

Sen. Ferrioli

States that there is a CPA standard level that charter schools should  be maintained.

TAPE 38, B

030

Oliveira

States that the bill does not remove the requirement for an audit. States there will be a CPA involved in the charter school audit process.

035

Joanie Gillis

Oregon Department of Education (ODE). Provides testimony on SB 405.

085

Chair C. Starr

States that it is clear that many private non-profit organizations receiving public funds for their services are not subjected to the audit requirement.

090

Gillis

Responds.

100

Al Shannon

Employed by the Oregon School Boards Association. Provides testimony in support of SB 405.

165

Sen. Morrisette

Asks if the research cited in the testimony is from hand notes or from text.

170

Shannon

States the testimony was directly from the administrative rules from the Secretary of State’s office.

175

Sen. Ferrioli

States that the need to specify the need for CPA’s to be involved in the municipal audit process.

180

Shannon

Agrees. States that this would be better than exempting charter schools from the audits.

190

Rob Kremer

Comments on the municipal audit requirements and provides comment on the stability of PERS.

235

Chair C. Starr

Closes the public hearing on SB 405 and opens a work session on SJR 7.

SJR 7 – WORK SESSION

250

Sen. Morrisette

MOTION:  Moves SJR 7 to the floor with a BE ADOPTED recommendation and BE REFERRED to the committee on Revenue.

 

 

VOTE:  3-0

EXCUSED:  1 – Deckert

260

Chair C. Starr

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

270

Chair C. Starr

Closes the work session on SB 760 and opens a public hearing on SB 760.

SB 760 – PUBLIC HEARING

275

Sen. Bruce Starr

District 15. Provides summary and testimony in support of SB 760.

335

Chair C. Starr

Asks if the bill passed and the district became a charter district would it still have the authority for bonding new construction and other provisions of the state school funding mechanisms as opposed to what occurs with most charter school start ups.

340

Sen. B. Starr

Confirms.

345

Whelan

Points out numerous concerns to SB 760.

·         Possible school districts converting to charter districts will limit choices for parents

·         Possible school districts converting to charter schools in the hopes of receiving federal funds would limit state funds.

·         Possible cost burdens to the state for annual audits

·         Professional accountability of teachers

·         Concludes testimony

450

Chair C. Starr

 States that Charters by design can operate for a lower costs, so the state provides less money, at times 50% less, and asks why it would not be advantageous for school districts to convert to charter schools.

460

Whelan

Responds.

TAPE 39, B

020

Gillis

ODE.  States the department is concerned that SB 760 will limit the choices for parents.

060

Rob Kremer

Elaborates on the differences between school districts and charter schools.

090

Sen. Deckert

Asks about municipal accounting and states that the same standards should be set for both school districts and charter schools.

110

Kremer

Provides clarification on the municipal accounting audits for charter schools.

120

Sen. Deckert

States that the ability to go back and review both charter schools and school districts should be similar records to do comparisons.

130

Chair C. Starr

Asks that as it is a provision of the charter school legislation law that students can opt into a charter school would it not follow that students from out of district could opt in.

143

Kremer

Confirms.

141

Chair C. Starr

Closes the public hearing on SB 760 and adjourns the meeting at 4:35 PM.

 

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – SB 405, written testimony, Susan Giller, 4 pp

B – SB 405, written testimony, Catherine Lay, 3 pp

C – SB 405, written testimony, Kris Oliveira, 5 pp