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Tuition Bill Flunks Test, Sent Back To Committee

A bill to regulate tuition at Oregon’s public schools was pulled from the House floor Tuesday. It’s being amended to allow more schools to charge tuition.

Initially, House Bill 27-48 aimed to prohibit school districts from charging tuition.

That changed when Portland’s Riverdale School District lobbied to protect its practice of charging out-of-district students nearly $12,000 a year in tuition.

So, the bill was amended to allow school districts that currently charge tuition — to keep doing so.

But some lawmakers objected, arguing the rules should be the same for all districts.

The objections scuttled a scheduled vote and led Republican Rep. Sherrie Sprenger to have the bill sent to the Revenue Committee.

“There is a section in this bill that has created quite a bit of conversation around who can charge tuition.”

Corvallis-area Democrat Sara Gelser sponsored the bill. She says if it survives, all public schools could charge out-of-district students tuition.

That’s the way it is now. But incoming students from poverty would have to be admitted free of charge.

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