Oregon State Seal





For Immediate Release

June 18, 2013

Contact: Julie Parrish (503) 986-1437



Democrats Eradicate Any Shred of Bi-Partisanship Left from 2011 Co-Governance


SALEM, OR – House Democrats voted today to place regressive restrictions on charter schools in Oregon and to roll-back the bipartisan education reforms supporting charter schools passed in 2011. The measure, HB 2153, was promoted by the Oregon Education Association and Portland Public Schools.


“The people of Oregon send us to the Capitol to make sure their best interests are represented, and today House Democrats broke trust with our citizens. Instead, they did the bidding for the status quo education lobby whose only interest in education is protecting their own agendas,” said Rep. Julie Parrish (R – West Linn/Tualatin). “Charter schools spur innovation in learning and give families the choice they need to ensure their child receives best education possible to fit his or her needs.”


Rep. Parrish was the chief sponsor of HB 3645, which was signed into law by Gov. John Kitzhaber in 2011 and allows higher education institutions to sponsor a charter school. This new measure, HB 2153, rolls back after less than two years that provision in the law for certain districts where charter schools are growing in demand. The bill goes further by changing the premise of how charter school concepts are created by taking away the design process from parents and giving it solely to school boards to decide what type of charter is needed to meet the needs of students.


“The purpose of the 1999 charter school law, also signed by Governor Kitzhaber, was to empower parents with the opportunity to take an idea with a groundswell of community support and realize the concept into an actual school where children can thrive,” Parrish said. “Now, if a school board denies parents this opportunity based on ‘failing to advance an educational goal’ they have nowhere else to go. This law says they cannot even appeal it to the Oregon Board of Education, which they’ve been able to do since 1999.”


Six House Democrats flip-flopped their vote on the bill from 2011 and supported the additional restrictions today. This included the bill’s carrier on the House Floor, Rep. Betty Komp (D – Woodburn), and House Speaker Tina Kotek (D – Portland). Eight Oregon school districts are immediately impacted by this legislation: Portland Public, Eugene, Gresham-Barlow, Reynolds, Lincoln County, North Bend, Oregon City, and North Clackamas. This is the second bill this Session to roll back bipartisan reforms which helped local schools.


“Success in this building requires trust and cooperation, not DC-style politics of division,” Parrish said. “We had cooperation and trust in 2011, but today House Democrats eradicated any shred of bi-partisanship left from co-governance. I hope Governor Kitzhaber gives this bill his most serious consideration for a veto because it rolls back both the 1999 and 2011 charter school laws.”


For more information, contact Rep. Julie Parrish at 503-432-9707 or rep.julieparrish@state.or.us.


Link to Rep. Parrish’s floor speech on HB 2153: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rsQZcB2VSo&feature=youtu.be