Kitzhaber education plan

4/6/2011: Gov Kitzhaber’s is out selling his “one board to bind them” education plan. The fact that his chief adviser is Springfield Schools head Nancy Golden is a good sign – she’s very impressive. Big step up from Goldschmidt’s Dr. Pernsteiner – whoops, sorry, that’s Mr. Pernsteiner. The RG has a story but their website is down and there’s no way I’m going out to the drive to get the paper copy in this rain. Kimberly Melton in the Oregonian:

Senate Bill 909 creates a 13-member investment board appointed by the governor. The board would make recommendations on how to invest state education money. Kitzhaber says Oregon needs to target its money to ensure that children show up to kindergarten and first grade ready to read and that students who are leaving high school are college ready and have an easy transition to post-secondary education.

… representatives from some of the state’s key education groups disputed Kitzhaber’s claim that Oregon’s education system is broken. It’s not broken, they said during a packed hearing Tuesday afternoon, just underfunded.

“We may have a fragmented system, a competing system, but it’s not a broken system,” said David Rives, president of the American Federation of Teachers of Oregon.

And Bonnie Luisi, president of the Oregon School Employees Association, testified in support of the bill but said the state’s “drastic underfunding” of education is the “single greatest barrier to the improvement of quality and access.”

The state’s biggest education group, the Oregon Education Association, is neutral on the bill.

Follow the bill here, or all higher ed legislation here. Before you get too excited about this bill and what it would mean for the UO Freedom Forces, read Ms Melton’s other story here, on how dysfunctional the House education committee is:

Some are calling it a meltdown. Others say it’s just a bump in the road. But no matter how you characterize it, Oregon’s evenly-split House Education Committee is struggling to move legislation as the co-chairs haggle over individual bills, what should make the agenda and even who should hold the gavel.

The ongoing rift has frustrated legislators and stalled some big-ticket education bills on higher education, online learning, student transportation and charter schools. And now, it’s forcing House leaders to start working around the committee.

“We haven’t been nearly as productive as we should or could be,” said Rep. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, a member of the committee. “There are bills hanging out there that people want to see move to the floor. But they’re getting caught up in other political agendas and time is running out.”

Has Pernsteiner been voting illegally?

3/21/2011: The ever helpful bojack.org posts the Oregon statutes on determining voting residence:

(3) An elections official may consider, but is not limited to considering, the following factors in determining residency of a person for voter registration purposes:
(a) Where the person receives personal mail;
(b) Where the person is licensed to drive;
(c) Where the person registers motor vehicles for personal use;
(d) Where any immediate family members of the person reside;
(e) The address from which the person pays for utility services; and
(f) The address from which the person files any federal or state income tax returns.

3/19/2011: OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner owns a house in Portland, and he spends most of his working time at his office at PSU. But he votes in Eugene. Now the Lane County elections supervisor is asking him why:

He’s been doing this since 2004 – apparently it’s part of the pretense that he is using the state owned Treetops mansion in Eugene as his “actual residence.” I’m no lawyer, but I believe in Oregon it’s a felony to make a false statement on a voter registration card:

Here’s what Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown says about voter fraud, in the Oregonian, last year.

… Perhaps the greatest deterrents are the penalties for a Class C felony. That’s the crime when someone ineligible casts a ballot, votes under a false name, forges a signature on a ballot envelope or falsely registers to vote. If they do manage to get by our security checks, the Oregon Department of Justice will prosecute and then we’re talking five years in prison, a $125,000 fine and, when appropriate, deportation.

For example, a Josephine County man who was not a citizen forged the name of his younger brother, a citizen, on a voter registration card. We investigated, the Department of Justice prosecuted and he was convicted of four felonies and deported. Now he can never become an American. …

We deploy a full arsenal of tools against voter fraud, including long prison terms, heavy fines and deportation. We have checks and balances at all levels of the system. And we have the Department of Justice prosecutors backing us up.

As chief elections officer, it’s my job to protect the integrity of the ballot. If you suspect any kind of fraud at all, you should call us at 503-986-1518 with as many details as possible. Believe me, we’ll investigate.

Deportation. I like that. Next time you leave Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District you’d better have a visa, dude.

As I see it Pernsteiner can either admit that he has been voting illegally, change his registration and pretend he just now moved, or stonewall and keep claiming he lives at Treetops. So far, he’s still claiming his residence is Treetops:

My guess is that his lawyer tells him to quietly change his registration to his real house, throw himself on the mercy of Secretary of State Kate Brown, and claim his 7 years of voting in Lane County were an innocent mistake that had nothing to do with his office’s efforts to fend off the claims by Campbell Church’s heirs to Treetops.

Which is going to be a tough sell, given the letters like this that are floating around:

"no records responsive to this request"

3/14/2011: I’ve been trying to figure out Chancellor Pernsteiner’s OUS contract. Is it possible the $23,320 for “Professional expenses” is for tuition payments, so he can finally get that PhD? Seems a bit high for the University of Phoenix, but I haven’t heard a better explanation. So I made a request to OUS for the accounting statements. Friday I got this reply from their public records officer:

How can you give a guy that kind of money and not have any documentation? This keeps getting weirder. Here’s the relevant part of the contract:

I’ve now talked on the phone with Mr. Triplett about this. The OUS does not check on how he actually spends the money. He says that these amounts are simply paid to Chancellor Persteiner on a monthly basis as “salary supplements” or additional compensation, added to his $280,900 base. Which brings it up to $342,940.

In addition he gets a car, and is also reimbursed about $20,000 a year for in and out of state travel expenses. Then of course there’s the $50,000 a year or so for Treetops. And the $7,000 or so he charges OUS students for his personal food.

Pernsteiner studying for a PhD?

3/8/2011: I’ve been trying to figure out Chancellor Pernsteiner’s OUS contract. Not the $70K a year Treetops mansion and additional $26K housing allowance – that’s just stupidity and greed, respectively. But what about the $23,320 for “Professional expenses”? Is it possible this is for tuition payments, so he can finally get that PhD? Seems a bit high for the University of Phoenix, but I haven’t heard a better explanation: