By Oregon Senate Republican Caucus,
Senate Republicans Vote to Get Kids Back in School Full-Time in the Fall
Democrats kill SB 867 along party lines, continuing the Governor’s power to lock kids out of the classroom
Senate Republicans attempted to pass Senate Bill 867, a bill that would reopen schools for full-time, in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year.
According to data, Governor Brown’s arbitrary COVID metrics are putting Oregon third-worst in the country on school reopenings. Barely 1/3rd of Oregon schools are in “On-Site” instruction while the majority are in hybrid.
“Kids deserve to be in the classroom,” Senator Dick Anderson, chief sponsor of the legislation, said. “It’s past time to give students a guarantee that they will get a real education next year. This past year and a half has devastated learning for our kids and wreaked havoc for parents trying to make ends meet. This bill was about making a promise to Oregon students that their education matters.”
Recent scientific studies have shown that kids hospitalized for COVID have been overcounted, further quelling fears about COVID-19 in schools. Just over a week ago, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten came out in support of getting American students back into the classroom for full-time instruction:
“Given current circumstances, nothing should stand in the way of fully reopening our public schools this fall and keeping them open,” Weingarten said in a speech. “The United States will not be fully back until we are fully back in school. And my union is all in.”
“The evidence is overwhelming that schools are safe, but Democrats believe the science is different here in Oregon. Other states have returned kids to the classroom, but our students and families are still struggling with a Governor that doesn’t listen and an education system that isn’t required to meet their needs,” Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) said.
Republicans have advocated to fully fund and fully reopen K-12 schools with school districts’ recommended budget of $9.6 billion. Senate Republicans have also put forward a robust education reform agenda this session that would have given kids and parents more control over their education. Democrats have blocked all but one of them.
SB 867 was blocked from consideration by Democrats along party lines, leaving in limbo another year of education for Oregon students.