SB 223 Action Alert
Tell Legislators to Stop Using Our Kids as Leverage
Many years ago, voluntary private school registration was administered by the Oregon Dept. of
Education (ODE) so that student teaching could take place in registered private schools and
teachers in private schools could maintain their licenses. That licensing rule was eliminated in 2009.
Then Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction, Suzan Castillo, asked the Oregon
legislature to repeal the voluntary private school registration laws to reduce workload and
expenditures, and because it did not align with ODE goals. In 2011, the Oregon legislature
repealed voluntary private school registration by adopting SB 26.
Currently, there is no law on the books requiring private schools to register with Oregon
Department of Education. For Oregon’s Christian schools, that independence allows us to
provide a faith-based curriculum in line with our families’ values and beliefs and free from state
oversight. But that independence is at risk this session.
Oregon legislators have now introduced a bill, SB 223, that would require private schools to
register with the state or risk their students’ ability to participate in interscholastic activities—
athletics, music, debate, etc. SB 223 uses students as leverage to force private schools,
including Christian schools, to register and conform to State Board of Education criteria. SB 223
threatens religious freedom and parent choice and undermines the goal of private education. It
also adds layers of bureaucracy and costs to the day-to-day management of private schools
with little to no benefit to the families that are enrolled.
As we understand it, the underlying goal of SB 223 is to promote the safety and well-being of
students. Fortunately, that’s the goal of private schools as well. In 2019, legislation was passed
to ensure that students are safe, rendering this bill unnecessary. Following the global pandemic,
our students should be given the opportunity to reengage with their peers, not prevented from
participating in the extracurricular activities that they enjoy.
We need your help! Our schools prioritize the safety and well-being of students, and recently
passed laws ensure that is the case. Our students should have the same ability to participate in
interscholastic activities as public school students. Our families are Oregon taxpayers and have
just as much of a right to participate in activities offered through OSAA.
Please send a personalized email or letter to send to the Senate Committee on Education by 3:15 PM on March 17th urging
the Committee to vote ‘NO’ on SB 223. Make sure you cc your state representative and