Bill to help disabled OR students won’t pass this session

February 24, 2022 GMT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A measure that sought to help students with disabilities get an adequate public education in Oregon won’t advance during this year’s Legislature.

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

It would’ve directed the Oregon Department of Education to more quickly investigate and resolve allegations brought by families of students with disabilities who say they are not receiving an adequate public education.

Gelser Blouin, D-Corvallis, said the bill was for students who have had their school days shortened, or educational experience limited due to decisions made by school administrators.

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“For me, it’s not a bill, it’s the question of whether kids can get back in school,” Gelser Blouin said. “The kids that we’re talking about, have been denied access to quality education, full-time education, not just this school year, but last school year and the spring of COVID-19.”

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

“Because they had discussed the bill recently, she was giving Sen. Gelser Blouin the courtesy of a direct phone call to tell her that, based on her conversations with legislators, it’s clear that the bill isn’t moving forward this session,” Boyle said.

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

The bill received support from FACT Oregon and Disability Rights Oregon, two groups that support people with disabilities in the state.