If PPS does not settle a fair contract, Portland Association of Teachers will strike Thursday Feb. 20. After the first day of picketing, please join teachers at Pioneer Courthouse Square to support them in fighting for the schools Portland students deserve.
Share widely. 3:00 - 5:00 PM Rally in Pioneer Square - Marches start at 2:30
Pioneer Courthouse Square is located: 701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97204
Corporate Media Link: link to www.oregonlive.com
The letter said legislators "believe that the quality of the classroom experience should take precedent over the length of the school year," a line that echoes a frequent quote from Portland Association of Teachers president Gwen Sullivan.
Here's the full text of the letter:
Dear PPS Board Members, Superintendent Smith, President Sullivan, and PAT Members,
We have been following the negotiations for a new teachers' contract very closely and with much interest. We and our entire city remain hopeful that you can reach a settlement before Thursday's strike date.
We are proud that our city has maintained a strong urban school district. We know Portland Public Schools has worked to support strong neighborhood schools and encourage parent communities. We know teachers bring energy, expertise, and commitment every day to their classrooms. It would be devastating to have a strike tear our community apart.
We fought for a $6.75 billion biennial budget for K-12 last year, and then we made hard choices to raise another $100 million for schools during the special session (which added $7.8 million for PPS next school year). Our goal was to put sustainable resources into the classroom to help Oregon students succeed.
We are heartened by the most recent revenue forecast that indicates there will be an additional $98 million in local revenue for our schools (another $4.6 million for PPS next school year), thus providing even more resources to reduce class sizes.
We remain committed to sustaining these resources and increasing our investment in schools in the next biennium and beyond.
In this time of rebuilding from the recession cuts, we believe that the quality of the classroom experience should take precedent over the length of the school year. While we need both, our expectation for our reinvestment budget was to make sure school districts had the resources to hire additional teachers and other educational professionals in order to decrease class sizes and improve the learning environment for all students.
We hope the 2014-15 school year will be a transformative year for Oregon's students. We hope you seize this opportunity to reach a mutually-acceptable settlement that recognizes the inadequacies of the recession years and builds a present and future PPS our children deserve.
Speaker Tina Kotek
Rep. Jules Bailey
Rep. Margaret Doherty
Rep. Shemia Fagan
Rep. Lew Frederick
Rep. Tobias Read
Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson
Rep. Jennifer Williamson