Dear Virtual School Family,
The State Legislature adjourned the 2017 legislative session on Friday, July 7. During the long session, the legislature considered several bills related to virtual public education. While most didn’t make it through the legislative process, there were two bills of note that were considered by the full House and Senate.
Virtual School Study Bill
HB2720, introduced by Rep. Susan McLain, would have funded a study to evaluate virtual public schools. This legislation proposed to spend $80,000 to gather information that the Oregon Department of Education already collects. Our schools have faced more scrutiny than any other public school and are without question the most transparent and accountable schools in Oregon! Legislation like HB2720 opens the door for opponents of parent choice to limit access to schools that work for our kids.
We called on parents to defeat this bill. And you did! Virtual school parents sent emails and made phone calls to legislators to urge them to oppose another costly study of virtual schools. The bill made it though the committee process and was approved by the House, but was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 16-14. It was the only bill to die on the Senate floor this year! Well done parents!
Interscholastic Activities Bill
SB208 prohibits school districts from denying participation in interscholastic activities by students who attend charter or virtual public charter schools. This legislation moved through the legislative process and passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate. Virtual school students from around Oregon will now be able to participate in sports, band, choir and other extracurricular activities in their local school districts. This is great news for virtual school students who live in districts that have denied their participation in previous years. The bill takes effect in the 2017-2018 school year.
It is up to parents to remain vigilant about protecting virtual public schools. If you are motived to protect this choice for your family and others and you would like to become more active in our effort, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Parents are a powerful force, and we need to ensure the parent voice is part of the debate surrounding virtual public schools.
Thank you for your help and support.
Parent to Jordan - 8th grade, Baker Web Academy
Michaela - 6th grade, Baker Web Academy
Zach - 2nd grade, Baker Web Academy