Wingard Report: Legislative Update 4/3/07

1) Thank you to everyone who signed the petition against SB 621–the bill to kill Charter Schools. Charter parents, students and teachers filled the hearing room and an overflow room and apparently intimidated the Chair, Sen. Vicki Walker (D-Eugene). Sen. Walker may be a maverick on some issues, but she’s a teacher’s union drone on this issue.

The bill came up for a Work Session this week and the OEA retreated on every objectionable aspect of the bill except they still wanted to increase the teacher licensure requirement from 50% to 75%. When we objected to this attack on Charter School flexibility, Sen. Walker seemed perplexed at why we weren’t willing to compromise with the OEA. (HINT: She revealed that her son is getting his teaching license.)

Maybe because it’s like negotiating with Hannibal Lecter? She seemed not to see that charter schools weren’t gaining anything. Isn’t a negotiation suppose to be a two-way street?

2) House Bill 3010, which I wrote, to give 1,000 low-income students the chance to choose their own school will get a hearing on Thursday, April 5, 2007. The House Subcommittee on Education Innovation hearing starts at 1:00 PM and can be watched live here.

3) The 16-year battle to kill Vera Katz’s failed education reform legislation (CIM/CAM), may finally be won.

4) Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point) does a good job explaining how Democrats plan to spend $15.8+ billion dollars over the next two years–a 9% annual increase in Oregon State government spending.

5) Meanwhile, the largest tax increase on the poor in Oregon State history seems to have broad appeal among Democrats. Go figure.

6) And while pro-abortion forces in Oregon may be able to legitimately claim to represent the majority view in Oregon, it takes a special kind of contempt to move a bill like this through the Legislature. (read lines 3-14)

The Machine Rolls On…