Measure 60

Proposed by initiative petition to be voted on at the General Election, November 4, 2008.

Ballot Title

Teacher "classroom performance," not seniority, determines pay raises; "most qualified" teachers retained, regardless of seniority

Result of "yes" vote

"Yes" vote makes teacher pay raises dependent on "classroom performance," without regard to seniority; specific subject training, teaching performance determine retention if lay-offs occur.

Result of "no" vote

"No" vote retains current laws allowing local school boards to pay and retain teachers by qualifications, including teaching competence, experience, educational attainments, licensure and seniority.

Summary

Local public school district boards currently fix salaries, and retention and other contract terms of employment for teachers within their respective districts, subject to state laws regarding collective bargaining, merit, competence, licensure and the Accountability for Schools for the 21st Century Law. Measure eliminates seniority as criterion for pay raises and requires that pay raises for teacher be based solely on that teacher's "classroom performance" (undefined); provides that if a school district reduces teaching staff, the district must retain the "most qualified" teacher, identified by "past classroom experience successfully teaching the specific subject" and academic training in that subject. Measure supersedes any conflicting law or policy, but applies only to teacher contract extensions and new contracts made after the effective date of measure. Other provisions.

Estimate of financial impact

The measure will require between $30 million and $72 million in additional state and local spending in the first school year. Thereafter the measure will require between $30 million and $60 million in additional state and local spending each year.

The measure does not affect the amount of funds collected for state government, schools, or local governments.


Explanation of Estimate of Financial Impact

The measure requires that a teacher's pay and job security be based on classroom performance. This will require new systems for evaluating teacher performance. Two approaches were considered in estimating the cost of this measure, a combined state and local evaluation system and a local evaluation system.

Combined State and Local System

The combined state and local system would require approximately $12 million of one-time costs in the first year and $60 million in operating costs each year.

A combined state and local system would use student scores from Oregon's state-administered tests, and local personal evaluations. The state does not currently have standardized tests in all subject areas. Therefore the state would need to add new student tests for more subject areas. It is estimated that the state would have one-time costs of $9 million to develop new test standards and scoring systems, and to develop tests for special needs students. School districts would have one-time costs of $4 million for student testing, including special needs students.

The on-going costs for operating and maintaining these systems is estimated to be $29 million each year. This includes staff, technology, test development, test administration, tests for special needs students and data system maintenance.

In addition to student testing, school districts would need to obtain information based on teacher observation and teacher interviews, since student assessment data alone cannot fully describe the performance and effectiveness in the classroom. It is estimated that a typical high school would need the equivalent of a half-time position for evaluations. A typical middle school and elementary school would need the equivalent of a quarter-time position. These staffing costs would total roughly $30 million per year for all school districts. School districts would also need to change their payroll accounting systems and staff to support the additional positions. This is estimated to cost nearly $1.5 million statewide each year.

Strictly Local Systems

Strictly local teacher evaluation systems would not use student test scores. Instead, they would be based on teacher observation and teacher interviews by district staff who are trained in performance evaluation. It is estimated that approximately twice as many evaluation staff would be required. This would cost between $30 million and $60 million per year statewide.

Committee Members:

Secretary of State Bill Bradbury
State Treasurer Randall Edwards
Scott Harra, Director, Dept. of Administrative Services
Elizabeth Harchenko, Director, Dept. of Revenue
Debra Guzman, Local Government Representative

(The estimate of financial impact and explanation was provided by the above committee pursuant to ORS 250.127.)