Rep. Johnson calls a town hall on education issues

The hour-long meeting is scheduled in Welches on Thursday, Sept. 29

A special District 52 town hall meeting will be held for all parents and educators in the Oregon Trail School District, with Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Hood River.

The meeting will focus on education issues, and will include administrators from the school district.

On the agenda are three issues:

• Policies developed during the recent legislative session that have affected local schools and how the district adapted to them;

• What concerns do local residents have that need attention at the next session, including higher education; and,

• What do local residents think about the job being done by state foresters in managing and preserving state forest land.

Johnson, who is co-chairman of the higher education committee in the interim, says he has received help from Oregon Trail School District staff in writing legislation, such as Human Resources Director Ken Bucchi and school board member Terry Lenchitsky.

Among accomplishments of the past session, Johnson points to the bill that allows inter-district transfers.

'For a progressive district like Oregon Trail,' Johnson said, 'it could be a real possibility to market themselves to neighboring districts and gain some in-migration.'

Among attempts to gain approval at policies that would have benefited local schools, Johnson mentioned the bill that would have allowed districts the ability to seek contracts from non-district employees for certain services, thus saving money normally paid for benefits.

Another bill that didn't pass would have put limits on salaries and benefits that could be negotiated.

Johnson is hoping a wide spectrum of Oregon Trail patrons will attend the town hall so that the discussion can be wide-ranging.

The meeting is scheduled between 6:30- 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in the Hoodland Fire Station, 69634 Highway 26, Welches.

For more information, call 503-986-1452 or email to rep.markjohnson@