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Another Major Education Reform Makes its Way to the CapitolSarah Ross Special to Salem-News.com
Legislation would abolish the Oregon State Board of Higher Education...
(SALEM ONS) - A new proposal under consideration during the State Legislature’s February session would mean a shake-up for the Oregon State Board of Education.
Senate Joint Resolution 201, introduced by Senator Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, is a proposed amendment to the Oregon Constitution which would restructure how the Oregon State Board of Education is chosen and of what its membership would consist.
The State Board of Education was originally created by the Oregon legislature in 1951 to oversee the state’s public schools and community colleges. It currently consists of seven board members: one from each congressional district and two representing the state at large.
Kruse is proposing 11 board members: one from each congressional district to represent K-12 students, three members to represent the state’s public universities, and the remaining three members to represent the state’s community colleges.
Instead of being appointed solely by the governor, the members would be chosen from a list of candidates presented to the governor by interested parties such as organizations representing school administrators and public universities.
In addition, the legislation would abolish the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and put the power to appoint a Superintendent of Public Instruction into the hands of the State Board of Education.
Last year, the legislature approved a bill making the governor the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Previously, the superintendent was a separate, elected position.
Kruse told Oregon Capitol News that he thinks holding the superintendent accountable to the board, rather than to voters directly, would be a good management structure, since it is similar to structures used by local school boards and many companies.
Because Kruse’s proposed bill would change the state’s constitution, it would need to pass both chambers of the legislature and then be placed on the ballot for Oregon voters.
The Roseburg Republican said he thinks major change in educational oversight such as the legislation passed last year or his own proposed bill should to go to a public vote for Oregonians to “voice their opinion.”
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