SB 580 VOTE: NO
Signed into Law by Gov Brown on 07/14/21
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/SB580
This bill amends definition of “employment relations” to include class size and caseload limits as mandatory collective bargaining subjects for school districts. (same as HB 2270)
Empowers unions that already have too much power. The $1 billion CAT tax was sold to voters to reduce class size issues. One would think this would have solved the class size tied to collective bargain discussion going for the last 4 years.
Defeated five times, the bill is a bad penny that can’t buy any improvement. Class sizes have stabilized since 2018 at median middle and high school class sizes are very similar across subjects, although middle school median class sizes are slightly higher from 14 to a high of 29 in larger districts. It should make class size not a driving force to be considered in collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Teachers have had it soft in the COVID pandemic with no classroom social issues to deal with. Now they have an opportunity to use COVID to bargain a return to the classroom if class sizes are small enough to make them comfortable and/or if they are paid more money if the class size goes over the negotiated threshold.