Editor's Note: Video is from a rally on April 10
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland Public Schools has canceled class on May 8 because of a planned teacher walkout.
In an email sent to families and staff, the district said there won’t be enough teachers working on May 8 to have class.
“We now have an estimate of how many teachers intend to be absent on that date in order to advocate for full funding of K-12 public schools. We have a clear indication that the number of teacher absences will exceed our ability to safely open and operate our schools,” the district said.
A few exceptions apply:
- Outdoor School will remain open and uninterrupted the entire week of May 6-10.
- Night classes will continue as regularly scheduled on May 8.
- Previously scheduled A.P. and I.B. testing will continue as planned on May 8.
To make up for the missed day of class, the last day of school will now be June 12, PPS said in the email. On Monday, the North Clackamas School District announced classes were canceled on May 8.
Suzanne Cohen, president of the Portland Association of Teachers, previously said members plan to participate in a statewide walkout on May 8 advocating for additional school funding.
Earlier this month, lawmakers introduced a plan to raise $2 billion for schools through a business tax. The Oregon Education Association has supported the plan.
Last week, Gov. Brown released her plan to pay down the state’s $26 billion pension debt. Part of that plan included asking teachers to contribute a portion of their pay to the state’s pension fund. The Oregon Education Association said the plan amounts to a salary cut for educators.
Classrooms in Crisis. KGW has interviewed dozens of teachers and school administrators about an increase in verbal, physical and sometimes violent disruptions in Oregon and Southwest Washington classrooms. We’ve received emails from hundreds of additional teachers who tell similar stories. Many teachers say they don’t have the proper training, support or resources to deal with this disruptive behavior. The teachers don’t blame the kids, pointing out that many students have suffered trauma in their lives; however, they say the current law makes it difficult to handle these incidents effectively. In many cases they are forced to clear all other students out of a classroom until a disruptive student can calm down. We will continue to tell these stories and push for solutions from lawmakers and school officials.
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