2023 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
EDUCATION FUNDING PRIORITIES
Oregon's charter schools are almost solely funded through the State School Fund (SSF). Our K - 8 grade charter schools are required, by Oregon state law, to receive at least 80% of the SSF dollars allocated to public schools, per pupil. Our high school grades are required to receive at least 95% of the SSF dollars allocated to public schools, per pupil.
State School Fund
$10.3 billion for the next biennium is necessary to ensure adequate funding for public K-12 schools in Oregon. We must ensure we do not undercut our schools' efforts to provide educational and support services to our students.
Student Success Act
The targeted investments, that public charter schools have access to through the High School Success grants, Student Investment Account, and the Early Learning Account are pivotal to provide charter school students with a well rounded education and wrap around services. ORC3S supports a fully funded Student Success Act that continues to include public charter schools.
Charter schools are small independent public employers, required by statute to participate in the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). Currently public charter schools, for the purposes of PERS, are obligated to pay the same rate as the highest rate of school districts in the state. Public Charter schools, as small independent employers, differ in significant ways from districts (who are most often large public employers) and receive significantly less funding than traditional district schools.
ORC3S urges the Legislature to modernize PERS rates for charter schools to acknowledge the unique characteristics of their operations and employee pool and help public charter schools find financial stability.
End the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products
ORC3S supports HB 3090, which would ban the sale of flavored vaping and tobacco products. Youth e-cigarette use is a serious public health concern. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Oregon – killing more than 8,000 Oregonians a year. HB 3090 will improve the health of our youth, who have been relentlessly and ruthlessly targeted by tobacco companies for decades. We must provide youth with the right education and tools to lead a healthy and happy life, HB 3090 will help in that effort.
The intent of the Oregon charter school law was to create an avenue for parents, educators, and community members to take responsible risks to create new, innovative and more flexible ways of educating children within the public school system. In 1999 legislators authorized charter schools to create an atmosphere in Oregon's public school system where research and development of new learning opportunities are actively pursued. Unfortunately, well-meaning policy makers continuously attempt to impose a myriad of mandates on Oregon's public charter schools.
ORC3S urges legislators to oppose mandates that impede charter schools' ability to provide innovative education without access to sufficient resources.