SUBMITTING WRITTEN TESTIMONY:
- Email written testimony to sed.exhibits@
oregonlegislature.gov. It goes to staff of the Senate Education Committee (sed).
- The subject line of your email should be: Testimony on SB 437 for posting on OLIS (OLIS stands for Oregon Legislative Information System)
- The best way to send testimony is to attach a PDF file of your document to your email message. If you simply put your testimony in the body of the email or attach a Word-type document then the Committee staff will convert it into a PDF file before posting it online. You then run the risk that the conversion may not look exactly as you would like it to look. Check out these instructions on how to save a Word document as a PDF.
- Here is the list of Senators on the Education Committee including the Chair, Senator Arnie Roblan (D), who kindly scheduled this hearing for us. All these Committee members will automatically receive any written testimony you send to the Committee. If you see a member who is your own State Senator, you may want to contact that individual Senator directly or try to meet with them prior to the meeting.
We expect the hearing to begin promptly at 3 pm and last approximately 30 minutes. Only invited testimony will be heard live; the audience will be there for support but will not be asked to testify in person.
When posted on OLIS, your written testimony will appear on the SB 437 page under Meeting Material/Exhibits link. It may be posted soon after you send it, or it may appear closer to the hearing date. Note that we are supporting the bill with the -1 Amendment which sets somewhat lower ESA account dollar amounts to ensure that the bill will be roughly “revenue neutral” so as not to reduce spending per pupil in the public school system.
TIPS FROM THE LEGISLATIVE WEBSITE FOR TESTIFYING IN PERSON AND IN WRITING:
How to Testify before a Committee
OUR TIPS/SUGGESTIONS FOR WRITTEN TESTIMONY:
- Start your testimony saying something like: “Chair Roblan and members of the Senate Education Committee, I urge you to support Education Savings Accounts for Oregon students such as those set out in SB 437 with the -1 Amendment.” Don’t ask them to “vote” for the bill because this is an informational hearing only.
- Note where you live in Oregon and how you are a stakeholder in the education system (mom, dad, grandma, teacher, and/or taxpayer, etc.)
- Talk about your own family’s experiences with school choice or talk about how your family would benefit from more school choice in Oregon.
- Talk about the benefits of Education Savings Accounts – NOT vouchers.
- Be respectful. Don’t attack legislators or school choice opponents.
- Ask legislators to help all students access more school choices.
- Understand that SB 437 will not pass into law this year, but you want it or something like it to pass as soon as possible for all families in Oregon, and for your family in particular if you have children in school now or who will be entering school soon.
- View a sample here.
INFORMATION ABOUT OUR EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNT BILL AND ESAs IN GENERAL:
- Education Savings Accounts Help Students Without Hurting Public Schools by Steve Buckstein, Cascade Policy Institute, April 2017
- Education Savings Accounts Treat Kids Like the Individuals They Are by Kathryn Hickok, Cascade Policy Institute, May 2017
- Oregon Legislature Should Give Kids a Ticket to the Future by Kathryn Hickok and Steve Buckstein, Portland Tribune, May 2017
Feel free to share this information with others, and include the link to RSVP if they plan to attend in person. Let them know that children are welcome to come with their parents to learn how the legislative process works.
Finally, we request that anyone sending written testimony also send us a copy, or send us a draft first and we’ll be happy to give you suggestions before you submit it. Send testimony to Steve Buckstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need help drafting or submitting your written testimony, please call us at (503) 242-0900 or email Steve.