April 20, 2011

Contact: Nick Smith






SALEM—The House of Representatives today passed an education reform bill to give school districts more flexibility in hiring administrators.  HB 3555 replaces state licensure requirements for superintendents and assistant superintendents with qualifications established by school boards.


Rep. Julie Parrish (West Linn/Tualatin), the bill’s chief sponsor, says HB 3555 eliminates a state mandate that takes dollars away from classroom instruction and will broaden the pool of talented, reform-minded administrators that will make schools more efficient and more effective in educating students.


“Passing this bill is just the tip of the iceberg of the work we are going to need to do in order to rein in costs and put school districts back on the path of fiscal sanity,” Rep. Parrish said. “There are certainly wonderful school district administrators who are accustomed to doing more with less, but as many of them near retirement age, school districts will need the flexibility to replace school administrators with new personnel that have the skills and business acumen to navigate their district through the rough financial waters of the coming decade.”


HB 3555 gives school districts more flexibility by allowing individuals without a conventional state administrative license to be a superintendent and assistant superintendent of conventional and alternative public schools. 


The individuals would be required to complete a program conducted by the state’s professional organization of school administrators within one year of their hire date.  The program would focus on topics such as visionary leadership, instructional improvement, effective management and ethics.


Rep. Parrish says HB 3555 is one of several bills the Legislature should pass to reform education, lower the costs and achieve better outcomes.


“We could have done more this session to put the local control and decision-making authority for how to best serve children back with the communities and out of the hands of the legislature.  We didn’t get more done because the Status Quo Lobby in the building ensured that their agendas were met before we every got to serving the needs of children,” Rep. Parrish said.


“I am thrilled that the members of the Confederation of Oregon School Administers was able to get to “YES” on this bill, and I’ll look forward to working with them in the future as we navigate what education will need to look like if our graduates are to be competitive with students from other states and other countries, both in education and when we launch them into the workforce.”