Signed into law by Gov Brown on 3-17-22
Declared an Emergency
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2022R1/Measures/Overview/SB1521
Removes all significant oversight responsibility of a local school board in regard to decisions for terminating the district superintendent, and limits authority when the superintendent is acting in compliance with state or federal law.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
This bill removes the voice of parents and we are expected to kneel to the state, where ideas are usually a push by one person without due diligence or best practices to back their policies.
This will limit the boards ability to fire a superintendent who is not following the board’s policies. The board sets policy according to their district and parents input. The board is the superintendent’s boss to carry out what the school board approves: school budgets, approves curriculum, and policies. If a superintendent is NOT going to be supportive of the board and the district, then they are hindering what the district deems important in their schools and should be fired. The trouble with the bill it sets state and federal law over local school boards, including executive orders, orders of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, declarations, directives or other state or federal authorization, policy, statement, guidance, rule or regulation. In other words, local control and parents’ voices aren’t to be considered. According to this, anyone could make a “statement” or “guidance” without legislative authority.
Removing an employee “without cause” is designed to be an immediate solution to an otherwise untenable situation. The bill requires at least twelve (12) months’ notice (See §1(2)(a)(B)), which eliminates a school district’s recourse to this reasonable act, forcing the board and superintendent to live in an intolerable relationship. This is clearly an unconstitutional overreach by the legislature into the affairs of an independent governing body. This bill is put forth in response to Newberg and other school boards who fired their superintendents without cause the last 2 years.