Bill to help disabled OR students will not pass this session

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A measure aimed at helping students with disabilities receive a decent public education in Oregon will not advance during this year’s legislative session.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Senator Sara Gelser Blouin said she received a call from Gov. Kate Brown Wednesday that her measure, Senate Bill 1578, would not pass during the short 2022 legislative session.

It would have ordered the Oregon Department of Education to expedite investigation and resolution of allegations by families of students with disabilities who say they are not receiving adequate public education.

Gelser Blouin, D-Corvallis, said the bill is for students whose schooling is reduced or whose educational experience is limited due to school board decisions.

“For me it’s not a bill, it’s the question of whether children can go back to school,” said Gelser Blouin. “The children we speak of have been denied access to quality education and full-time education, not only this school year, but also in the final year of school and in the spring of COVID-19.”

Brown’s spokesman Charles Boyle confirmed the call to Gelser Blouin.

“Because they recently discussed the bill, she gave Sen. Gelser Blouin the courtesy of a direct phone call to let her know that based on her discussions with lawmakers, it’s clear the bill is not moving forward in this session,” Boyle said.

The current process for families concerned about their students’ access to education involves exhausting all efforts at the district level before filing a complaint with the state.

The bill was supported by FACT Oregon and Disability Rights Oregon, two groups that support people with disabilities in the state.

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