Oregon House advances measure to bargain class sizes

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A proposal to include class sizes as required bargaining items during negotiations between teachers and school districts is moving ahead in the Oregon Legislature.

Teachers are currently able to ask for class size changes as part of their bargaining, but are not required to do so. Under the proposal, collective bargaining negotiations would be required to cover class sizes along with things like pay. The Oregon House advanced the measure on a 33-25 vote Tuesday, sending it to the Senate.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brian Clem, a Democrat from Salem, said the motivation for the bill stemmed from his own experience as a parent and had watched students in his daughter’s class cope with added classmates.

Rep. Julie Parrish, a Republican from West Linn, said before voting against the measure that she supported smaller class sizes but was worried taxpayers could be left to pay for increases negotiated outside the Legislature.