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House Bill Would Add 'Teacher Competence' To Budget Cutting Equation

The Oregon House has approved a bill to change how teachers get shuffled around in the face of budget cuts. The bill brings teacher competence into the process.

Beaverton High School

Beaverton High School

Rob Manning/OPB

Under current law, when Oregon school districts move teachers in the wake of layoffs — administrators look at two things: a teacher’s seniority and license.

When the Beaverton School District moved more than 300 teachers last summer, many wound up in positions they felt unprepared for.

The bill the Oregon House approved would require districts to take competence into account, too.

Beaverton-area representative Mitch Greenlick says the bill looks at competence broadly.

“If you taught that class in the last ten years, if you have other qualifications to teach it, or even if you’re just willing to learn what you need to learn to teach it — you can be deemed as competent.”

The bill would allow teacher unions and administrators to set their own criteria for competence.

Greenlick says some parents believe the definition is too broad.

The bill now goes to the Oregon Senate.

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