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School board sets priorities for 2015

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For the Keizertimes

Oregon School Boards Association matters took up much of Tuesday’s Salem-Keizer School Board meeting.

Several legislative policy and priority resolutions were approved, and a director candidate from the North Santiam School District received the board’s vote.

The OSBA’s legislative policy committee has proposed that the association introduce and support legislation in 2015 that would:

• Support student achievement.

• Provide stable and adequate funding.

• Empower local school boards and provide for shared accountability.

• Oppose any federal- or state-imposed mandate that would not lead to increased academic achievement or not be accompanied with necessary funding to implement the mandate.

• Promote capital construction and improvements.

• Provide relief from cost-drivers such as the Public Employees Retirement System, health insurance and any federal- or state-mandated program or service.

State legislative policies that the OSBA committee has approved call for:

• Investing in public schools to ensure adequate and stable funding.

• Reforming tax policy.

• Mandating relief and paperwork reduction for school districts and education service districts.

• Supporting districts through the state Department of Education.

• Financial and program accountability.

• State bonding for district capital and infrastructure needs.

• Programs for school improvement, special education and ESDs in ways that give local school officials maximum flexibility.

• Providing well-rounded and rigorous curricula and increased access to online education.

• Supporting public charter schools.

• Supporting career and technical education.

• Supporting post-secondary opportunities for high school students.

• Increasing local control of collective bargaining and management rights.

• Keeping determination of school employee rights through local bargaining.

• Ensuring that teacher and administrator licensing requirements maintain necessary levels of preparation.

• Supporting local and state programs for teacher and administrator development.

• Continuing the Oregon Education Investment Board under specified  conditions.

• Supporting the state Board of Education as the state-level policy-making body for elementary and secondary schools.

• Keeping district governance in the hands of voters.

• Supporting local measures for school safety and student wellness.

The OSBA board candidate receiving Salem-Keizer board support was Tass Morrison of Sublimity, who is running unopposed.

In other business, the board voted to renew the charter of the Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School.