ORS 339.391¹
Investigations by Department of Education of nonlicensed persons
  • timeline
  • findings
  • rules

(1)(a) When the Department of Education receives a report of suspected sexual conduct that may have been committed by a school employee, contractor, agent or volunteer that is not licensed with the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, the department shall immediately initiate an investigation.

(b) An investigation and final determination related to the report received under paragraph (a) of this subsection must be completed and notification of the final determination must be made to the education provider within 90 calendar days following the date on which the report was filed with the department.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of this subsection, the prescribed timeline for an investigation and final determination may be extended if the department determines that, for good cause, a longer period of time is necessary.

(2) The department shall appoint an investigator and shall furnish the investigator with appropriate professional and other special assistance reasonably required to conduct an investigation. An investigator appointed under this subsection is empowered to:

(a) Issue subpoenas to require the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents;

(b) Subpoena witnesses; and

(c) Swear witnesses and compel obedience in the same manner as provided under ORS 183.440 (Subpoenas in contested cases) (2).

(3)(a) Following the completion of an investigation, the Department of Education shall notify:

(A) The person charged;

(B) The student and, if applicable, the student’s parents;

(C) The education provider;

(D) The person who provided the report of suspected sexual conduct; and

(E) Any regulatory board that is not the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission and that licenses, registers, certifies or otherwise authorizes the school employee, contractor, agent or volunteer to practice a profession or to provide professional services.

(b) The notification required under paragraph (a) of this subsection shall include the following information as allowed by state and federal law:

(A) The statutory authority of the department to conduct the investigation;

(B) The procedural background for the investigation;

(C) The legal standards and arguments used for the investigation;

(D) The department’s findings of fact from the investigation;

(E) The department’s final determination based on the investigation; and

(F) The right to an appeal, as provided by subsection (5) of this section.

(4)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, the documents and materials used in the investigation undertaken under this section, and the report related to the investigation, are confidential and not subject to public inspection.

(b) To the extent allowed by state and federal law, the department shall make available any documents, materials and reports to:

(A) A law enforcement agency or the Department of Human Services if necessary to conduct an investigation under ORS 419B.005 (Definitions) to 419B.050 (Authority of health care provider to disclose information);

(B) The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission if necessary for the commission to conduct an investigation under ORS 339.390 (Investigations by Teacher Standards and Practices Commission of licensed persons); and

(C) An education provider if necessary for the education provider to take any disciplinary action or changes in the employment relationship or duties of the school employee, contractor, agent or volunteer.

(c) The Department of Education shall retain documents and materials related to any report received under this section, regardless of whether the department found sufficient cause to justify holding a hearing under this section.

(5) A person may appeal the final determination made by the department under this section as a contested case under ORS chapter 183.

(6) The State Board of Education shall adopt any rules necessary for the administration of this section. [2019 c.618 §32]

Note: 339.391 (Investigations by Department of Education of nonlicensed persons) becomes operative July 1, 2020. See section 33, chapter 618, Oregon Laws 2019.

Note: Section 33, chapter 618, Oregon Laws 2019, provides:

Sec. 33. (1) Section 32 of this 2019 Act [339.391 (Investigations by Department of Education of nonlicensed persons)] becomes operative on July 1, 2020.

(2) Section 32 of this 2019 Act applies to reports of suspected sexual conduct received on or after July 1, 2020.

(3)(a) For the purposes of ORS 339.372 (Policies of school boards on reporting of suspected abuse and suspected sexual conduct) (4)(b) and 339.388 (Report of abuse or sexual conduct) (2)(b), a licensed administrator is not required to inform the Department of Education of reports of suspected sexual conduct involving a person who is not licensed by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission if the report is received before July 1, 2020.

(b) For the purpose of ORS 339.374 (Required background checks by education providers) (1)(d), an education provider is not required to verify with the Department of Education whether the department has an ongoing investigation or has a substantiated report relating to conduct by an applicant who is not licensed with the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission if the applicant is considered for employment before July 1, 2020.

(c) For the purpose of ORS 339.374 (Required background checks by education providers) (2)(b), an education provider is not required to verify with the Department of Education whether the department has an ongoing investigation or has a substantiated report relating to conduct by a person who is not licensed with the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission if the person begins providing services to the education provider before July 1, 2020.

(d) Notwithstanding ORS 339.388 (Report of abuse or sexual conduct), an education provider must conduct an investigation related to a report of suspected sexual conduct by a person who is not licensed by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission if the report is received before July 1, 2020. An investigation conducted under this paragraph must be completed as provided by ORS 339.388 (Report of abuse or sexual conduct) (6)(d)(B)(ii).

(e) The Department of Education is not required to take any action on information received under section 14 of this 2019 Act [419B.019 (Investigation of report involving school)] or ORS 419B.020 (Duty of department or law enforcement agency receiving report) if the department receives the information before July 1, 2020.

(4) Notwithstanding the operative date set forth in subsection (1) of this section, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education may take any action before the operative date set forth in subsection (1) of this section that is necessary to enable the department to exercise, on and after the operative date set forth in subsection (1) of this section, all of the duties, functions and powers conferred on the department by section 32 of this 2019 Act. [2019 c.618 §33]

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 339—School Attendance; Admission; Discipline; Safety, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors339.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information