Every single OEA priority bill of the 2022 Legislative Session has now reached the Governor’s desk, with the exception of the end of session budget reconciliation bill, which is always the second-to-last bill to pass during a legislative session.
These are enormous wins for Oregon students and educators. Even with the added pressures and chaos caused by COVID, members from around the state were able to work together to secure historic victories for public education.
Read on for a recap of our 2022 legislative priorities:
Victories: On the Governor's Desk
- HB 4030 (K-12 workforce stabilization). Creates recruitment and retention grants for K-12, streamlines substitutes entering the workforce, compensates substitutes and education assistants for training and fees, and improves educator recruitment.
- HB 5202 (Summer Learning Investments). Provides and additional $150 million for summer school program grants.
- SB 1545 (higher education workforce investments). Invests $15 million in community college workforce programs, $10 million for credit for prior learning, and opens up $95 million in grants that community colleges can apply for to bolster their CTE programs.
- SB 1572 (part time faculty loan forgiveness). This bill codifies that part time faculty must be credited for 4.35 hours of work credit hour of classroom instruction for purposes of qualifying for student loan forgiveness.
- HB 4026 (wildfire stabilization). $25 million to stabilize the budget of the school districts most impacted by wildfires over the past two years.
- SB 1583 (federal testing). Codifies that school districts can only meet the federal minimum requirements of standardized testing and makes ODE file a request for a waiver to the federal government to remove all remaining testing every year.
- HB 4124 (local testing). Implements extensive study of local standardized testing to develop statewide guidelines and best practices.
- SB 1522 (part time faculty health care expansion). Simplifies requirements for part time faculty members to qualify for health care benefits by shifting the calculation to meet the .5 FTE requirement from a term-by-term basis to a year-over-year basis.
- SB 1543 (universal representation). A Fair Shot priority. Legal representation for individuals and families navigating the immigration system.
- SB 1510 (transforming justice). Ensuring our state’s public safety systems work for marginalized communities by reducing deadly interactions with law enforcement and investing in culturally specific and trauma-informed training for probation and parole officers.
- HB 4002 (farmworker overtime). Paying farmworkers for every hour they work.
- SB 1546 (Elliot Forest purchase). State finalizes its purchase of Elliot State Forest for $121 million, putting additional resources towards the Common School Fund. Legal representation for individuals and families navigating the immigration system.
The Legislative session seems to inevitably provide fertile ground for some anti-public education ideas to sprout, and this last month has been no exception. This session, OEA worked hard to beat back:
- Two attempts at increasing the cap on virtual charter schools;
- An extension of gain share (a $35 million give away) till 2030 without legislative debate;
- And permanent cuts to the Corporate Activities Tax and Student Success Act.
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