This bill repeals statutory provisions passed in 2023 in a rush under House Bill 3198 (2023), which establish and implement the Birth Through Five Literacy Plan and grant program. The bill replaces it with programs in search of a problem to solve and switches the focus on higher education transferring authority to committees behind closed doors and third party administrators. It looks to fast track teachers into the workforce. It also seems to be looking for an answer to what went wrong with the Elliot Forest program. This is a summary of the bill’s provisions:
1. Establishes a youth advisory council and convene a workgroup to develop standards for the council.
2. Requires ODE to collect course grade information and cooperate with the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) on establishment of a direct admissions program.
3. Requires the Legislative Policy and Research Office to conduct a study of the state’s education funding system, including the Quality Education Model.
4. Requires changes to the Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) award to be made in rule and requires HECC to vote on and report to the Legislative Assembly on proposed changes to award amounts or methodology. Transfers responsibility for determining OOG award amounts from the Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) to HECC.
5. Changes the way funding for the Youth Corrections Education Program and Juvenile Detention Education Program are made, and authorizes the transfer of funds from the Statewide Education Initiatives Account to meet target funding level.
6. Permits HECC to contract with an outside entity for the administration of Oregon’s Open Educational Resources (OER) program which is an “Inclusive Access” model to prioritize equity and inclusion.
7. Clarifies that schools may have access to short-acting opioid antagonists but that the law does not require that they do.
8. Expands scope of Educator Advancement Council’s (EAC) work to include individuals in the process of becoming licensed, registered, or certified by TSPC.
9. Directs HECC to convene a work group to study corequisite student support models, which replace developmental or remedial education courses with student supports for requisite courses.
10. Establishes a pilot program for applied baccalaureate (AB) degree programs at Oregon community colleges and requires participating colleges to submit an annual report on the costs of the program.
11. Clarifies types of work that qualify a part-time faculty member to select a home institution for the purposes of receiving health care benefits.
12. Requires HECC to study the forestry workforce, including existing education, training, and workforce development programs as well as occupations, wages, demographics, and needs of the workforce.
13. Exempts meetings of the Transfer Council’s subcommittees from public meeting requirements.
14. Permits a person entering into an education, training, or apprenticeship program to ask a licensing board, commission, or agency to determine if their criminal conviction or juvenile adjudication would prevent them from receiving an occupational or professional license in their field.