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Oregon Teacher Agency Seeks Money For Licensing, Investigations

<p>Technology teacher Doug Bundy at Raleigh Hills School, in Beaverton. </p>

Rob Manning


Technology teacher Doug Bundy at Raleigh Hills School, in Beaverton.

The agency responsible for licenses and complaints involving Oregon teachers is months behind. Legislators are considering bills Tuesday to hike license fees to address the backlogs.

The Teachers Standards and Practices Commission controls the licenses for more than 60,000 Oregon educators. Almost all its money comes from license fees. Fee revenue fell when the recession forced school districts to lay off teachers. TSPC cut nine positions.

By last year, the agency was struggling to keep up. Only 12 percent of teacher investigations were resolved within six months. The wait to get a teacher license grew to more than four months.

TSPC says recent staffing shifts reduced the email backlog and phone wait times.

A bill before lawmakers would add six jobs to help with investigations, licenses, and to automate more of the agency. To pay for that, fees would rise. The cost of a license for a teacher would increase from $100 to $140.

Another bill would change the agency's name to the Professional Educator Standards Board.

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Rob Manning is a news editor at Oregon Public Broadcasting, with oversight of reporters covering education, healthcare and business. Rob became an editor in 2019, following about 15 years covering schools and universities in Oregon and southwest Washington as OPB’s education reporter.