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2018 TELL Survey

TELL Survey Shows Areas of Promise, and Concern Oregon educators…

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Disrupted Learning Town Hall Forums

Spring 2018

Right now, many of our students are entering our classrooms not…

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2018 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

The 2018 Oregon Legislative Session has come to an end, and as…

2018 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

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The 2018 Oregon Legislative Session has come to an end, and as always, OEA members made a tremendous impact on the outcome of the work done at the Capitol. In just 21 days, OEA members emailed or called their legislators more than 1,700 times. More than 150 OEA members attended OEA Lobby Day on Feb. 5, 2018 and held meetings with nearly every single legislator that day.

Here are some of our top highlights from the short session:

Passed Proactive Policies for Educators and Students

  • Ensured continuation of Modified Diploma program and delivery of transition services for special education students who need these services (SB 1522)
  • Required pharmaceutical and insurance companies to have transparent drug pricing structures and increases (HB 4005
  • Guaranteed that children have access to hearing screenings, hearing aids, cochlear implants and other hearing services they need to succeed in school by mandating insurance coverage (HB 4104
  • Updated school sexual harassment policies to protect student privacy and educator rights (HB 4150
  • Expanded high school students access to transportation options such as additional activity buses, aimed at increasing accessibility for low-income students (and adds bus routes for OEA members!) (HB 4130
  • Allocated almost $1 million dollars for school based mental health and trauma support services (HB 5201
  • Protected the integrity of Oregon’s ballot measure process by strengthening petition signature gathering requirements (SB 1510
  • Ensured that undocumented Oregon students who meet certain requirements, including graduation or equivalent from an Oregon high school and residency requirements, may continue to access in-state tuition regardless of participation in DACA, which is at risk federally (SB 1563
  • Secured an official state committee on disrupted learning after significant advocacy efforts
  • Allowed educators to make decisions about their own retirement funds instead of being pushed into a specific age-based calculation (HB 4159
  • Disconnected Oregon from the Trump Tax Plan’s pass-through tax breaks for wealthy business owners (SB 1528
  • Extended the removal of hour limitations for retired educators who return to work teaching CTE/STEM coursework (HB 4012

Successfully Defended Attacks

  • Stopped a bill that would have eliminated pension plans for new public employees, pushing them into a 401k-style contribution plan (HB 4070
  • Ensured grant-funded employees at community colleges continue to receive PERS benefits they are owed (HB 4046
  • Stopped an attempt to require educators to make additional contributions to their own PERS retirements (SB 1561
  • Thwarted backdoor voucher language in the new federal tax law to protect Oregon school funding (HB 4080
  • Stopped a bill that would have required students to pass the US Naturalization and Immigration Exam in order to graduate from high school (SB 1513
  • Stopped extension of Oregon’s open enrollment laws (SB 1521
  • Stopped anti-union laws that would have made Oregon an “open shop” (SB 1524

To be continued next year…

  • OEA’s bill to make class size a mandatory subject of collective bargaining passed the House with a bipartisan vote, but the hill was too steep in the Senate this year. We’ll keep advocating for this – you can add your voice here to make sure legislators on a key education committee know class size is important to educators and students. (HB 4113)
  • Increased the profile of the issue of disrupted learning among elected officials. We distributed more than 20 member stories to legislators and had countless meetings on the topic.
  • We still need to resolve school district interpretations of mandatory reporting laws in response to the issues that were raised in Salem Keizer and other districts. This issue did not come to a satisfactory conclusion but OEA had many conversations with lawmakers.