SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE

 

 

February 11, 2005                                                                                                         Douglas ESD

10:00 A.M.                                                                                                                  Tapes  18 - 21

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Vicki Walker, Chair

Sen. Charles Starr, Vice-Chair

Sen. Jeff Kruse

Sen. Bill Morrisette

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:          Sen. Ryan Deckert

 

VISITING MEMBER:                       Rep. Bruce Hanna

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Marjorie Taylor, Committee Administrator

Dawn Tuso, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

                                                SB 415 – 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 18, A

005

Chair Walker

Calls meeting to order at 10:04 a.m. Asks for committee member introductions.

010

Sen. Morrisette

Represents Senate District 6. Introduces himself. Discusses background and interest in education.

015

Sen. Kruse

Represents Senate District 1. Introduces himself. Discusses background and interest in education.

025

Sen. Starr

Represents Senate District 13. Introduces himself. Discusses background and interest in education.

045

Rep. Hanna

Represents House District 7. Introduces himself.

050

Chair Walker

Represents Senate District 7. Introduces herself. Discusses background and interest in education.

060

Chair Walker

Asks for a moment of silence to honor Marine Corporal James Lee Moore, a soldier who died in Iraq on January 26, 2005.

075

Chair Walker

Introduces county officials present at the meeting.

080

Dan Van Slyke

County Commissioner, Douglas County. Introduces himself.

081

Marilyn Kittleman

County Commissioner, Douglas County. Introduces herself.

083

Van Slyke

Shares emphasis for local control on services. Addresses issues with consolidation. Encourages the consolidation effort be encompassed with Douglas, Coos, and Curry Counties.

110

Kittleman

Applauds efforts to cut out redundancy and duplication. Mentions ties with the costal area and Reedsport. States that they do not have the same relationship with Lane County.

140

Chair Walker

Opens public hearing on SB 415. SB 415 is submitted by staff for public record (EXHIBIT A).

SB 415 - PUBLIC HEARING

145

Dr. Jonathon Hill

Superintendent, Douglas ESD. Submits written testimony and Oregon Association Education Service Districts (OAESD) recommendations (EXHIBIT B). Mentions that the ESD building used to be a Safeway building and that it has been paid for in full by the Douglas ESD. States that he has been the Douglas ESD Superintendent since July of 2003. Discusses his background prior to working for Douglas ESD. Discusses reasons to consider proposal. Talks about OAESD regulations. States that the proposal creates a system that tends to the needs of the state. Mentions restructuring. Stresses need to stretch dollars further. States that it honors and is driven by the needs of individual districts.

230

Hill

Discusses recommendations:

  • The OAESD recommendations address the issues raised by school districts during the hearings conducted by the Interim House Education Committee
  • A system of education service districts is created that meets the needs of the state
  • Regional planning will cause system wide restructuring. In turn, efficiencies will be created that maximize resources
  • The OAESD recommendations honor the unique needs of individual districts
  • The OAESD recommendations are designed for the future

267

Chair Walker

Comments on approach.

275

Hill

Responds. Refers to it as an agenda rather than a menu. Explains approach in detail.

300

Chair Walker

Asks how the approach will be different than it is now.

305

Hill

Responds that what has been described is true for some ESDs but not all of them. Explains difference in approach.

345

Sen. Starr

Asks about technology support to school districts, opportunities to train teachers, and delivering education over the internet.

357

Hill

Responds that it is an area that is being looked at very closely right now. Explains.

375

Sen. Kruse

Discusses concerns regarding proposal. States that his comfort with the administrative rule process is not very good but that the list is not a bad idea. States that a higher level of accountability needs to be given back to the legislature. Shares concern regarding a potential shift of control from ESDs reporting to districts to ESDs reporting to the state first. States that safeguards will need to be put into place.  

415

Hill

Shares concern. Raises questions regarding the issue.

TAPE 19, A

001

Sen. Kruse

States that it is an interesting concept but that it needs to get into bill form so the issues can be addressed.

005

Sen. Morrisette

Mentions OAESD recommendations (EXHIBIT B). Addresses the issue of distances traveled.

020

Hill

Discusses criteria:

  • Geography
  • Minimum and maximum number of districts served
  • A staffing model to provide the core services as determined by the regional service plan
  • A minimum number of students served
  • At least one publicly supported post secondary institution present within the region

080

Hill

Mentions satellite offices.

100

Hill

Summarizes recommendations.

105

Chair Walker

Mentions letter from Edward Jensen, Wallowa ESD Superintendent (EXHIBIT C). Talks about Silver Falls ESD Superintendent, Craig Roessler’s testimony from the committee meeting on February 7th, 2005. Discusses testimony about governance and budget. Asks for comment about those issues. Mentions the idea of changing the budget structure.

135

Hill

Talks about the 95/5 balance and the 90/10 split.

200

Chair Walker

States that there has not been accountability in some districts.

203

Hill

Feels that there are solutions.

205

Chair Walker

Thinks that it could be addressed in dealing with governance.

208

Hill

Talks about stretching volunteer help. 

225

Chair Walker

Thanks Dr. Hill. Introduces Kenny Kent and Jackie Cook.

235

Kenny Kent

Bandon School District Superintendent. Discusses concerns with geographical location. States that they represent the minority on the west coast. Discusses effects of consolidation if it were to occur.

315

Jackie Cook

Bandon School District board member. Gives background information. States that she has been involved in two forced mergers both dealing with saving dollars, not helping kids. Talks about distances traveled. Reiterates that the merger is not about kids.

TAPE 18, B

001

Cook

Talks about resolution services.

025

Sen. Morrisette

States that she articulated the issues very well. Asks for testimony in writing.

040

Cook

Agrees to provide a copy of the testimony.

045

Steve Boyarsky

Superintendent, Southern Oregon ESD. Submits and discusses written testimony (EXHIBIT D) and ESD maps (EXHIBIT E).

070

Boyarsky

Talks about resolutions services. Supports the concept of ESD consolidation. However, thinks the bill has too few a number of ESD districts.

Shows maps on the overhead:

  • Oregon’s five congressional districts
  • Map of 9 ESDs
  • Oregon ESD Realignment with proposed headquarters for 11 ESDs

110

Boyarsky

Talks about large district removal from ESD regions.

135

Boyarsky

Talks about legal issues with consolidation. Discusses the  provision of SB 415 that requires the state Board of Education to divide ESD liabilities and assets. Mentions clause that prevents ESDs to incur bonded indebtedness. Feels that the clause is bad policy.

160

Sen. Kruse

Cites example of the ability to handle debt or to bond future obligations as a sound management tool and states that removing that ability would be short sided.

180

Boyarsky

Discusses regional perspective.

200

Boyarsky

Talks about statutory requirement. Discusses staffing teaching specialties. Shares support for ESD consolidation, however, believes that SB 415 consolidates too drastically and would create eight regions that are too large and too unwieldy. Supports consolidation based upon the criteria that OAESD has developed. Expresses support for the 90/10 split. Expresses opposition to the provision regarding large school districts withdrawing from the ESD. Feels that SB 415 would weaken the common purpose of ESDs.

250

Sen. Kruse

Asks how much direct cash the Medford School District gets from the ESD.

255

Boyarsky

Replies that the Medford School District over utilizes their allocation and are billed back for services.

257

Sen. Kruse

States that the Medford School District would be a good example of a large school district that fully utilizes the services.

260

Boyarsky

Replies yes.

262

Rick Howell

Superintendent, South Coast ESD. Testifies in opposition to SB 415 and in partial support of the OAESD proposal. Submits informational packet including written testimony, SB 26 from 1993, a 1992 report of the task force on ESDs, 1999 legislative task force on ESDs final report, and SB 259 from 2001 (EXHIBIT F). Reads written testimony.

360

Howell

Believes in equity of service not equity of dollars.

TAPE 19, B

005

Howell

Continues reading submitted testimony.

095

Howell

Talks about letters of testimony brought from individuals not available to testify in person including letters from William Gehling, Powers School District Superintendent, Vicki L. Goodrich, Bridgham, CPA, Judith M. McMakin, Director of Coos County Commission on Children and Families, and Michael D. Struiksma, Superintendent, North Bend Schools (EXHIBIT G).

110

Chair Walker

Notes that written testimony is not in the packet. Asks for copies.

115

Howell

Agrees to leave copies of written testimony.

117

Sen. Morrisette

Asks Howell if he does not want to be part of the Lane ESD.

120

Howell

Responds with willingness to be a collaborator with Lane ESD where shared services make sense.

122

Chair Walker

Remarks on the consistency of  review recommendations to consolidate to 14 or 15 districts. Mentions past option for consolidation where the ESDs chose not to.

135

Howell

States that there was a consolidation of the Yamhill and Willamette ESD.

145

Sen. Kruse

Expresses gratitude for the historical information provided. Thinks that the report of the 1992 taskforce is creditable.

175

Marv Ott

Superintendent, Port Orford Langlois School District, Curry County. Discusses how consolidation would effect a small school district. Talks about geography and distances between ESDs. Mentions his role in the district and how consolidation would have an effect on the ability for him to do his job. Talks about contracting services.

225

Steve Bowman

Board member, South Coast ESD. Talks about experience on boards. Discusses forced mergers becoming antagonistic and how they effect teachers and students.  

287

Ron Hitchcock

Superintendent, Lane ESD. States that the bottom line is that Lane County and Lane ESD are not broken and do not need fixing. Talks about the current governance structure. States that the ESDs represent the best interest for every student and every family in the respective areas without distinction. Discusses use of funding. Says, if there is a problem with an ESD, go through the process that is already there. Talks about duplication of services.

417

Chair Walker

States that Hitchcock is on the criteria committee for the report which suggests consolidation but that his testimony today seems to be opposed to consolidation.

420

Hitchcock

States that it suggests that there could be efficiencies to be gained through the consolidation of ESDs but that it does not say anything about being consolidated by the ODE or the state legislature.

422

Chair Walker

States that Ozzie Rose of  the OAESD said in his testimony on February 7, 2005, that twelve to fifteen ESDs would probably work.

TAPE 20, A

001

Hitchcock

Thinks that Ozzie Rose said “we” referring to OAESD.

025

Sen. Kruse

Asks if the genesis of the OAESD plan was if the ESDs don’t consolidate themselves, then it will be done by outsiders.

032

Hitchcock

Replies, that would be a direct quote.

048

Bill Gehling

Superintendent, Powers. Represents a rural area. Talks about economy of scale and geographic inefficiencies. Mentions resolution services.

090

Gehling

Talks about services provided by the ESD.

120

Sybilla Cook

Retired citizen. Offers personal background information. Talks about district. Feels that ESDs are very important in rural areas. Thinks that Douglas ESD could be used as a model for other ESDs.  Notes that a forced merger is not the way to go. States that consolidation does not necessarily save dollars but rather, moves dollars further away from the people. Talks about geography and limited access by roads.

200

Sen. Morrisette

Asks if ESDs go through the state for purchasing.

205

Cook

Replies that ESDs purchase for the county.

210

Jagen Kaul

Resident, Roseburg.  Discusses personal background and interest in education.

TAPE 21, A

010

Jim Baggett

Technology Coordinator, Brookings-Harbor School District 17-C. Testifies in opposition to merging the South Coast ESD with another ESD. Talks about how the merger would effect the availability of technology.

090

Valerie Shapton

Business Manager, Brookings-Harbor School District 17-C. Submits and discusses written testimony (EXHIBIT H) in opposition to consolidating the South Coast ESD with another ESD.

165

Gayl Bowser

Employee, Douglas ESD. Submits written testimony on behalf of Steve Smith, Regional EI/ECSE Coordinator (EXHIBIT I). Testifies on SB 415. Encourages looking at other regionalized kinds of systems in the state that could be consolidated. Talks about ESD programs.

235

Mike Schofield

Business Manager, Winston-Dillard School District. Testifies in opposition to SB 415.

265

Schofield

Recites ORS 334.125. Discusses in detail.

335

Schofield

Concludes presentation.

The following prepared testimony is submitted for the record without public testimony:

 

Gerald J. Bennett

A Learners’ Champion. Submits written testimony on SB 415 (EXHIBIT J).

 

Staff

Submits Hinkle Creek Brochure (EXHIBIT K).

380

Chair Walker

Closes public hearing on SB 415. Adjourns meeting at 12:50 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 415, Staff, 20 pp
  2. SB 415, written testimony and OAESD Committee Recommendations, Jonathon Hill, 6 pp
  3. SB 415, written testimony, Edward Jensen, 5 pp
  4. SB 415, written testimony, Steve Boyarsky, 4 pp
  5. SB 415, ESD maps, Steve Boyarsky, 5 pp
  6. SB 415, informational packet, Rick Howell, 76 pp
  7. SB 415, submitted letters, Rick Howell, 6 pp
  8. SB 415, written testimony, Valerie Shapton, 6 pp
  9. SB 415, written testimony, Gayl Bowser, 1 p
  10. SB 415, written testimony, Gerald J. Bennett, 1 p
  11. Hinkle Creek, brochure, 4 pp