President's Message: Now's Our Chance to Fully Fund Oregon Schools

In 2019, let’s give our students the gift of fully-funded schools.

The November election brought us a pro-public education legislature, and a governor who is calling for tax increases to fund public education. There can be no doubt about it: this is OUR time.

No one in Salem has spelled out where the revenue will come from, but it’s clear to us.

It should come from large corporations, who not only can afford it but haven’t been paying their fair share for years.

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Get Your PAT RED FOR ED T-Shirt

In time for the 2019 Legislative Session, we are getting new t-shirts. They are red, in keeping with the nation-wide movement to demand adequate funding for public education. Ours will say "Fund our Future; Fund our Schools" on the back, with our PAT logo on the front.

We have shirts available for a suggested donation of $10, to defray the cost and allow us to order as many shirts as we need. We will have shirts in sizes small through 3XL, in both a unisex style and a women’s cut.

To get your T-shirt, you can order one through your Building Rep, or come by PAT to pick one up.

It's time the Oregon Legislature fully funds the Quality Education Model! Plan our wearing Red for Ed every Tuesday until Oregon meets its commitment to our students.

Bargaining Update

In January, the District and PAT will start formally negotiating a possible one-year contract extension. If the District offers an inadequate COLA (like 2%), we will not extend. In the event we cannot agree on an extension, we will exchange a full set of proposals 75 days later. If we do extend our current contract, our plan is to begin negotiating the successor contract in the fall of 2019.

Either way, we need to get ready and we need your help! Starting in January, PAT will be recruiting bargaining team members and bargaining organizers. You can also support your bargaining team and show your support for additional statewide school funding, by wearing red on Tuesdays, and coming to Salem on Presidents’ Day.

A Win on Master's Degree Credit

After almost a year of deadlock and disagreement, PAT has prevailed. The District has agreed to honor our new contract language, and ensure members get paid for Masters degrees earned prior to receiving a teaching license, according to the following terms:

  1. The District is granting column salary credit for PAT members with fully completed graduate degrees.  This credit will no longer be based on whether the degree was obtained in connection with the employee’s license. In addition, the District will not limit credit to a single graduate degree.
  2. The District will grant salary column advancement for graduate credits earned after licensure and outside of a degree program. They can now be treated as “Master’s Plus” credits.
  3. The adjustments will be retroactive to the July 1, 2017.

Members should know that making these adjustments will be labor intensive and time-consuming process. However, the District has already pulled some of the necessary data together from employee files in conjunction with related salary grievances.

Promising Practices Grant

Do you have a plan that could enhance your classroom skills or boost student achievement? An idea for a site-based professional development activity that could build partnerships? OEA’s Center for Great Public Schools awards Promising Practice Grants to individual PAT members.

There are two $500 grants available to PAT members. To apply, please complete the short application form available online. The completed grant application form must be sent to martin.pavlik@oregoned.org by February 4th.

Resolution for Black Lives Matter Week of Action

Come with us to ask the PPS School Board to support a Black Live Matter Week of Action in Portland Public Schools!

As a project of our Racial Equity Task Force, PAT members are planning a Black Live Matter Week of Action, February 4-9, 2019. This is part of a National Movement, which the members voted to support at both the OEA Rep Assembly and the NEA Rep Assembly.

We are seeking the support of the PPS School Board, so that this Week of Action can positively impacts students in every school across our district, and educators in every school can know they have the support of the district in participating in activities and lessons designed to uplift and educate.  Toward this goal, we are preparing a Resolution to bring to the school board, date to be determined.

Special Education Social: December 6th

Back by popular demand, the PAT Social Justice and Community Outreach Committee will be hosting another Special Education Social, dedicated to members on the special education team! This event is open to any educator who works as a special education educator, whether in a self-contained learning center, as an SLP, or as a school psychologist. Come network with other special educators, find ways to support each other, and build community. Let’s get organized! The social will be December 6th from 4:30-6:30 PM at the PAT office. RSVP so we can order enough dinner.

The Color of Law Curriculum Workshop for Teachers: December 13th

Portland area teachers, Oregon Writing Project coaches, and members of the Rethinking Schools and Zinn Education project team have been hard at work on a curriculum based on Richard Rothstein’s 2017 book, The Color of Law. You are invited to help us workshop this new curriculum and learn more about the history of housing discrimination. You’ll leave with new ideas and resources to bring back to your classroom.

When:     December 13th, 4:30-6:30

Where:    Portland Association of Teachers, 345 NE 8th, Portland, Oregon 97232

Who:      Chris Buehler, Angela DiPasquale, Alex Stegner, and Ursula Wolfe-Rocca will lead the workshop.

Please RSVP here.

Join Us in Salem on President's Day!

Monday, February 18th, is our first opportunity to bring a sea of red to Salem, to show the Legislature that Oregon educators expect and demand that they fix our funding problems now.

Please save the date, and spread the word to families and community supporters.