Democrat Kim Sordyl is being removed from the State Board of Education by the Oregon legislature.
She’s a Democrat but she’s been fighting for openness and accountability. Sordyl has insisted on revealing incompetent and criminal teachers to the public whose identities the teachers union has tried to keep secret.
As a result of her effective work, the Republican governor appointed her to the Board of Education.
Now the Democratic state legislature is working on removing her.
The Washington Times reports, “Democrats under fire for bill detractors say targets vocal critic of Oregon teachers union.”
She may be a Democrat, but Kim Sordyl has locked horns for years with Oregon’s powerful teachers unions — and now it looks as if her foes may be seeking payback.
A bill that would effectively remove her from the Oregon State Board of Education is moving briskly through the state legislature, winning House passage last week during the short, 35-day legislative session traditionally reserved for urgent issues that can’t wait for the longer, odd-year sessions.
Democrats insist that House Bill 4013 isn’t aimed at Ms. Sordyl, prompting scoffing from her supporters, Republicans and some newspapers, including the Oregonian editorial board, which came out against the measure by declaring, “You’ve got to be kidding.”
“House Bill 4013 is an anti-accountability measure targeting Democrat Kim Sordyl for removal from the state board of education in apparent retaliation for her advocacy for transparency, accountability and equity,” said Steve Elzinga, governmental and legal affairs director for Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, in Feb. 20 testimony before the House Education Committee.[…]
Ms. Sordyl’s willingness to take on the education establishment led Mr. Richardson to appoint her to represent him on the state board of education after he was elected in November 2016. Not surprisingly, he’s a Republican.
“We agree on education issues,” said Ms. Sordyl, who campaigned for him. “We don’t agree on social issues, but that’s not part of his job.”
The problem is that she isn’t a member of his staff, which Democrats argue goes against the intent of the state legislature.
In 2009, lawmakers approved a bill allowing the secretary of state and secretary of the treasury each to name an ex officio, or non-voting, member to the state board of education. The other seven members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate.
House Bill 4013 would require the secretaries to appoint full-time staffers, who would be better able to represent the elected officials on civic and financial issues in keeping with the 2009 bill’s original intent, Democrats said.
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