The following resolution was presented for the Board's consideration.
RESOLUTION #2010 - 25
We, as OSBA members, do accept and resolve to support and participate in the 2011 OSBA Legislative Policies and Priorities proposed and recommended by the OSBA Legislative Policy Committee as follows:
Proposed Legislative Priorities
OSBA will vigorously advocate for laws prioritizing support for student achievement to ensure that every student is prepared for college, apprenticeships, careers and productive citizenship.
OSBA will urge the Governor, Legislature, State Superintendent of Public Instruction and State Board of Education to join local school districts and education service districts in shared accountability for student achievement.
OSBA will vigorously advocate for adequate, stable funding as defined by the Quality Education Model to meet student achievement goals. OSBA will vigorously advocate for state and local tax reform, including kicker reform, that would increase support for schools. OSBA will actively pursue new state funding for K-12 capital construction.
Proposed Legislative Policies
Section 1: Finance
1.1 K-12 Funding Adequacy/State School Fund Appropriation
OSBA supports the continued use of the Quality Education Model to define K-12 funding adequacy. For the 2009-11 biennium, the QEM called for a state appropriation of $8.348 billion. The actual appropriation is likely to be $5.76 billion or a difference of $2.588 billion – following the Governor’s allotment reduction on May 25, 2010. OSBA supports an adequate and equitable appropriation to the State School Fund sufficient to provide each school district and education service district with no less than the resources necessary to support the operational, instructional and student achievement goals as defined by the QEM.
1.2 State Resources for Public Schools
OSBA supports state and legislative efforts that assure the availability of state and local funds necessary to provide stability and adequacy in elementary and secondary school funding. OSBA opposes tax reduction mechanisms that limit or reduce state or local funds available to provide stability and adequacy in elementary and secondary school funding. OSBA supports increasing the maximum allowable size of the current Education Stability Fund, but opposes converting it into a general state rainy day fund. OSBA opposes reducing the allocation of state aid to school districts and education service districts for either general operating or categorical purposes based on the receipt of additional federal education funds. OSBA opposes requiring the use of state or local resources for implementation of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act; federal programs should be fully supported by federal funds.
1.3 Structural Tax Reform
OSBA supports structural tax reform that will reduce the volatility of Oregon’s current tax system and raise the revenue necessary to provide K-12 school funding adequacy as defined by the Quality Education Model. OSBA supports modification of the state’s personal and corporate income tax “surplus kicker” law to allow general fund revenue in excess of projections to be deposited into a reserve account and used in times of economic distress.
1.4 Funding of Oregon Department of Education Programs
OSBA supports adequate funding of Oregon Department of Education programs and services that provide a research-based direct benefit to school districts and ESDs.
1.5 Distribution of the State School Fund
OSBA supports changes to the State School Fund distribution formula that maintain equalization and contain factors that consider only those situations or circumstances that may be externally measured, for which adequate and reliable data exist and require additional per student program costs. OSBA opposes using the State School Fund distribution formula or other funding mechanisms to mandate school district or ESD expenditures by formula factor categories.
1.6 Local Option Property Tax and Revenue Raising Authority
OSBA supports granting authority to school districts to seek from their voters supplemental operating revenue from a variety of additional sources. OSBA opposes offsetting any local option property tax revenue against school districts’ State School Fund resources. OSBA supports continued funding of local option grants to equalize resources between high- and low-property-wealth school districts that approve local option property tax levies.
1.7 Financial and Program Accountability
OSBA supports maintaining school district and ESD financial accountability for the expenditure of public funds and program accountability for student achievement of high academic standards. OSBA supports local control prerogatives to determine how financial and program accountability measures are achieved.
1.8 State Funds for School Facilities Construction
OSBA supports the allocation of state resources, including lottery proceeds, in addition to and not in lieu of the appropriation of state aid for school districts’ operating costs, to assists in funding public school construction, remodeling and maintenance projects, technology and capital equipment purchases. OSBA supports the continued work of the School Facilities Task Force. OSBA supports the state’s issuance of general obligation bonds to provide matching funds to finance the capital costs of school districts that have received voter approval for local general obligation bonds and to provide for the costs of issuing bonds and the payment of debt service.
1.9 Unfunded Mandates
OSBA strongly opposes state legislative mandates that require school districts and education service districts to provide new or expanded programs, services, responsibilities or functions without additional, full and continuing funding of the additional operating and capital costs associated with the mandates.
1.10 Vouchers/Tuition Tax Credits/Private School Choice
OSBA opposes any mechanism that diverts public funds, including tax credits, to private or religious schools or erodes financial support of the public school system.
Section 2: Programs
2.1 School Improvement
OSBA supports state-level school improvement efforts provided they are implemented in ways that grant local school officials maximum flexibility to incorporate community needs and priorities.
2.2 Special Education
OSBA supports categorical funding, in addition to and not in lieu of general state operating aid, that recognizes the increased cost of providing educational programs to students with disabilities. OSBA supports enhanced levels of state aid for the extraordinary costs associated with programs required for students with the most severe low-incidence, high-cost disabilities, including those served in out-of-district or out-of-state placements.
2.3 Education Service Districts
OSBA supports the role of ESDs to assist school districts and the Oregon Department of Education in achieving Oregon’s educational goals by providing equitable, high-quality, cost-effective, locally-responsive educational services on a regional basis. OSBA opposes the expansion of the three-ESD pilot governance model.
OSBA opposes changes to the current charter school law that would channel public funds to private and religious schools, allow entities other than school district boards to authorize charter schools within their boundaries, mandate direct access to the State School Fund by charter schools, increasing funding to charter schools or decrease school district authority for chartering or oversight. OSBA will continue to seek legislative clarification on the recent emergence of single-school school districts (charter districts) and their effects on neighboring school districts. OSBA supports a requirement that at least 50 percent of students enrolled in a public charter school live within the sponsoring district’s boundaries.
2.6 Online Education
Within a K-12 school district, OSBA supports locally-appropriate, not-for-profit, online education options to enhance student achievement. OSBA supports a separate statute to regulate comprehensive online education programs that will encourage continued student achievement gains.
Section 3: Personnel
3.1 Collective Bargaining
OSBA supports a collective bargaining structure that preserves and enhances the prerogatives of school district and ESD boards and their administrators to manage the school system and to establish and enforce educational policies that respond to the needs and priorities of their communities and students. OSBA supports continued local control of collective bargaining and opposes statewide bargaining and the creation of a statewide salary schedule. OSBA supports changing the collective bargaining structure to eliminate status quo and establish shorter bargaining time lines.
OSBA supports an actuarially-sound statewide retirement program for school employees that balances benefit adequacy for employees against costs and administrative requirements for employers. OSBA opposes state-mandated early retirement options.
3.3 Employee Rights and Benefits
OSBA supports determination and definition of school employee rights and benefits through the collective bargaining process at the local level. OSBA o9pposes granting or enhancing such rights and benefits through legislation or administrative rules which circumvent the local bargaining process.
3.4 Teacher/Administrator Licensing
OSBA supports licensing requirements that assure a level of preparation necessary to teach to rigorous academic standards and recognize licenses from other states. OSBA opposes overly detailed licenses and endorsements
that decrease needed flexibility in staffing schools or endangers districts’ ability to attract and retain qualified personnel.
3.5 Teacher Quality
OSBA recognizes that teacher quality is the most important factor in student achievement and supports local programs to enhance teacher quality. OSBA supports additional, new funding for professional development.
Section 4: Governance and Operations
4.1 Governance at the State Level
OSBA supports a State Board of Education, whose members are appointed by the Governor and subject to Senate confirmation, as the appropriate state-level policy-making body for elementary and secondary schools and community colle3ges. OSBA supports the statewide election of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. OSBA opposes the creation of a single board of education for kindergarten through higher education, but supports intentional collaboration between the State Board of Education and the State Board of Higher Education.
4.2 Governance at the Local Level
OSBA opposes legislation which is unnecessarily restrictive and inhibits the ability of locally-elected school district and ESD boards to conduct the public’s business in the best interests of their communities and students. OSBA supports maximum local decision-making flexibility in determining district budgeting and spending priorities. OSBA opposes the imposition of arbitrary limits on school district and ESD administrative and support service spending categories.
4.3 School Safety and Student Wellness
OSBA supports local measures that promote safety and wellness in the school environment for students, staff, parents, patrons and the community as a whole. OSBA supports examining the potential for new state funding to augment the federal meal program for Oregon students.
4.4 Local Elections
OSBA opposes measures that would place additional restrictions on local voters’ ability to govern their school districts. OSBA supports maintaining a simple majority voting requirement for local district finance measures.
Director Massie moved that the Board adopt Resolution #2010-25 as presented. Director Skuratowicz seconded and the motion passed unanimously.