After failing at first, online school bill passes Ore. House

After failing at first, online school bill passes Ore. House

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House voted Tuesday to approve a bill expanding online charter schools, changing course from a day earlier when the bill failed in a tied vote.

The House's 33-27 vote came after three Democrats changed their votes. Rep. Brian Clem, who voted no on Monday, said he decided to support the measure after Republicans promised to support follow-up legislation that would create a structure for governing online schools.

Clem said that the 30-30 tie in the House means that lawmakers have to compromise.

"At some point there is no more House Republican and House Democrat, there are representatives, and they do whatever they can to get to a yes for each and every one of their neighbors," Clem said.

The bill is among the most controversial of 14 education bills under consideration Tuesday.

The House also voted Tuesday to take the state schools chief off the ballot. The bill would designate the governor as the superintendent of public instruction. The position is currently a separately elected position held by Democrat Susan Castillo.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has said he supports the measure, which would take effect when Castillo's term expires.

Supporters say the bill would make the position less political and help the state select the most qualified leader to run the Department of Education. Opponents say voters deserve to have a say on such an important position.

The House also voted to provide more support for career and technical education.