Addressing Chronic Absenteeism -- Trauma-Informed School Pilots (HB 4002)

You are here

HB 4031, The Coordinated Student Success Act, was combined with another absenteeism bill and became HB 4002.

Here's a little bit about how we got here and what this new bill entails.

Beginning in 2011-2012, OSBHA chaired the Healthy Kids Learn Better Coalition, a statewide partnership of organizations and individuals working collectively to promote policies and programs that would reduce physical, social, and emotional barriers to learning. Education and health care reform were simultaneously being launched as our work, and we felt it was critical to build a health-related measure into new education policy that would highlight the connection between health and learning.Our work developed into a measure that ensured that school districts would report on absenteeism rates.The resulting data shows definitively that absenteeism from school is a serious problem in Oregon. 

In the meantime, in the health and social services field, knowledge about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma-informed care was and is growing steadily. Professionals, including school-based health centers, are exploring ways in which to use this information to help providers improve care and outcomes for their patients.

Then, in 2014, the Alliance 4 Kids, which OSBHA is a part of, formed and began convening conversations in the state to explore ways to reverse Oregon's falling graduation rates. A4K has been working with local experts, national researchers, educators, health officials, mental health officials, school administrators, and many others to explore ways to reverse Oregon's falling graduation rates.
  • Our first conference provided information and conversation around Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Our second conference focused on the causes and solutions for chronic absenteeism
  • In the third conference, keynote speaker Christopher Blodgett spoke about trauma-informed care in schools
Read more about Alliance 4 Kids' previous events.

This 2016 legislative session, OSBHA, working with the Defending Childhood Initiative, the Oregon Health Authority, Gladstone School DistrictTrauma Informed Oregon, the Alliance 4 Kids, the Oregon Education Association, and others developed and put forward HB 4031, the Coordinated Student Success Act , a measure that would reduce absenteeism by funding a culturally-responsive pilot program to create trauma-informed schools in Oregon. Another absenteeism bill had also been put forward, and HB 4031 was combined with it to create HB 4002 for a well-rounded approach to combating absenteeism. Here's what the bill entails:
  • The bill directs the Department of Education and the Chief Education Office to jointly develop a statewide education plan to address chronic absences of students in public schools, including trauma-informed school pilots. A trauma-informed school:
    • Realizes both the widespread impact of trauma and the role of schools in promoting resiliency
    • Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in students, family, and staff
    • Responds to fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices
    • Resists re-traumatization of students and staff and fosters resiliency
  • The pilot will last three years.
  • $500,000 will be available for this year with a budget note allowing the Chief Education Office to request more money for the following two years in the 2017 legislative session.
  • School districts or Education Service Districts are eligible to apply, and a community match will be required.
  • A Request for Proposals is in development, and more information will be available upon its release.

For more information, contact Maureen Hinman,, 503-719-4515