I. Update on Legislative Committee Days
Discussion: The virtual meeting opened for attendees to arrive at 4:45pm. No deliberation or decisions were made prior to the start of the meeting.
The Meeting of the Board of Education's Intergovernmental Committee came to order at 5:06 pm at the call of the Committee Chair Scott. This meeting was held virtually due to Covid-19 and streamed live at: https://www.youtube.com/user/ppscomms/videos
Time Started: 5:08 pm
Ms. Westling provided an overview of the Legislative Committee Days, noting that the Committee Days are times for legislators to meet in committees to hear presentations or to sit in on listening session regarding potential bills that will come forward at the next legislative session, adding that they make no decisions during this time. She shared that topic that they discussed included school reentry plans, equity in education, particularly in Comprehensive Distance Learning, and access to Wi-Fi and devices. She noted that they provided a financial forecast, and that this biennium looks better than expected, but that that next biennium might look different, especially if the federal government doesn’t provide any further financial assistance. She noted that there was more revenue than expected from taxes on unemployment as well as more economic growth than anticipated. Jon Eames shared that there were a couple of factors that lead to the uptick in revenue, noting that the lottery decline was not as bad as expected, as well as adding that the people who have lost their jobs are primarily in tax brackets with lower contributions, so the state revenue has not decreased as much as originally estimated. Ms. Westling shared the Corporate Activity Tax, which funds the Student Success Act (SSA), is projected to be higher than originally anticipated and that they should think about how to preserve the Student Investment Account (SIA) as the rest of the budgets are being cut and people start to try to grab funds where they can. Director Moore asked if there was a projection for the tax kicker. Mr. Eames replied that there is projected to be a corporate tax kicker, but not a personal tax kicker.
II. Discussion about 2021 Legislative platform/agenda
Discussion: Time Started: 5:27 pm
Ms. Westling shared that typically Portland Public Schools creates a one page list of legislative priorities to focus on. She provided an overview previous focuses, noting that that in 2019 a focus was to secure more funding via the Student Investment Account (SIA), as well as increase state school fund, safe schools, measure 98, and work force issues. Ms. Westling provided an overview of how the district decides priorities, noting that last year Superintendent’s Leadership Team (SLT) was polled to see what they thought priorities should be and board committee members were asked for suggestions. She shared that she will be reaching out to SLT again, and highlighted few items that she would normally hear about from staff. Director Moore noted that working with other agencies to determine with shared goals. There was discussion regarding the rollover items on the priorities list from last year as well as provided suggestions for new priorities. Director Scott asked if the Legislative Agenda was approved by the board, and Ms. Westling shared that a draft is first brought to the committee and then is referred to the full board for approval. Suggested Priorities that were mentioned were protecting resources, Covid response, reconciling state and federal Title IV statutes, how school board members are elected, diversifying education pipeline, collaboration with higher education training for K-12 teachers, diversity in contracting, and school Corona virus liability.
III. State revenue update
Discussion: (See the Agenda item: Legislative Days for discussion regarding the State Revenue Update)
IV. Other items
Discussion: Time Started: 5:48 pm
Director Scott asked the committee for suggestions for topics that the committee could work on in the year to come. Topics suggested were the legislative agenda, criteria for when the board passes resolution in support of political topics, working with partner jurisdictions, district boundaries, connecting with the city and other local public agencies, connecting with ReImagine Oregon, tracking Portland Charter reform, school resource officers and the role of the Portland Police Bureau now that we don’t have them. Director Moore stated suggested that the spreadsheet from previous years with suggested dates be used again.
Courtney Westling shared that they will be putting together a legislative briefing for Portland area legislators, with the hope of providing an overview of the Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) plan with a focus on our priorities. Director Brim-Edwards requested the materials and a recap of the briefing. Director Moore suggested that we work with local districts to create a shared priorities list and a list of individual priorities to present to local legislators so that they can see what common priorities are.
Director Brim-Edwards shared that the Rose Garden I-5 Improvement Advisory Committee held a meeting today. She shared that they adopted a values and charter document and walked through how they would move ahead, noting that the primary focus was discussion regarding caps over the freeway to connect neighborhoods. Ms. Westling shared that there a few other groups that focus on the 1-5 development, including a project management group where updates are provided, a Highway Cap Advisory Committee and the Historic Albina Advisory Group. Director Moore requested more frequent updates and the materials shared with the board.
Committee Chair Andrew Scott adjourned the meeting at 6:13 pm.
The next meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee is scheduled for October 22, 2020.