6th Annual Oregon School Employee Wellness Conference: March 26th-28th

Any PAT member who wants to engage school employees in creating healthier school environments that support the physical, social, emotional health and well-being of staff and students should consider attending the Oregon School Employee Wellness Conference being held at the The Riverhouse & Convention Center in Bend, Oregon.

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Not On Our Backs

With the failure of Measure 97, we must be vigilant in making sure that our state’s budget crisis isn’t solved on our backs. I’m horrified that our elected leaders are looking at changes to our PERS retirement system as their “funding solution”. 

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Educators and Renters Rally for Affordable Housing, February 25th

When investors bought the Normandy Apartments in December, their first act was to double the rent. Now 18 families and over 30 kids in the Normandy Apartments, located close to Rigler Elementary, are now in danger of losing their homes. Similar situations are unfolding all over Portland, with hundreds of families being displaced by rising rents and “no cause” evictions.

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Children, Nature, and Schools Symposium: March 13th

What is the best way of connecting our students with nature? How do we promote hands-on learning and self-directed play in our schools? How do we ensure our school grounds and parks are vibrant landscapes for play and learning? Join parents, educators, and community members for a day-long symposium on these and other topics related to children, nature, and schools. 

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School Safety and Behavior Intervention Survey

The Oregon Education Association Special Education Task Force is interested in hearing your experiences regarding school safety and behavior interventions and supports. The task force is gathering information statewide to help determine the best way OEA can support our members' practice and formulate policies that set up students and educators for success. Please take the short online survey, and thanks in advance for sharing your experiences and stories.

Feel free to share the survey link with others, and please complete this survey by February 25th.

2017 Members' Scholarships

The 2017 PAT Members’ Scholarship Application is now available.  If you are a member of the Portland Association of Teachers and you have a high school senior who is planning on attending college in the fall of 2017, they would be eligible to apply.  Six of these scholarships will be awarded in 2017.

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Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis

Join Rethinking Schools for a day-long workshop on teaching about the climate crisis. The workshop will focus on activities in the Rethinking Schools book, A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis. All participants will receive a free copy of the book. Thanks to a grant from the Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation, people who would like to lead their own follow-up workshops on climate and environmental justice themes will be able to apply for free copies of the book to use with participants. 

The workshop will be Saturday, March 4th from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM at the PAT Office, 345 NE 8th Ave., Portland, OR 97232.

The event is free and lunch is included, but registration is required. Sign up here.

Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Seminar

Do you have outstanding student loan debt? Please mark your calendar for Thursday, April 27, 4:30—7:00 PM at the PAT office, to learn about your options to manage or erase them.

Participants will learn about:

  • Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs (Teacher Loan, Perkins Loan, & the Public Service Loan Programs)
  • Basic financial essentials and financial planning  

This workshop is back by popular demand, and has the same information as was offered in November.

Retirement Planning Seminar

Thinking of retiring in five years or less? Join us March 1, 2017, from 4:30-6:00 PM at PAT. Topics include:

  • How does my pension work?
  • What can I do to prepare now?
  • Is it too late to start saving for retirement?

Refreshments provided. Please RSVP at pdxteachers.org under “For Members” or by filling out this RSVP form

Holding On to What We Have

As educators, we bear the brunt of our underfunded schools, and there’s no way to stay on top of everything we need or want to do for our students. Despite our skills and training, our work is routinely compromised by limited resources.

The recent “snowtastrophes” really demonstrate just how emaciated our school budgets are. We already suffer from a school year so short that we are clamoring to find ways to make up instructional time for our students. And now the District has sacrificed our professional development, time we need to collaborate with colleagues, sharpen our practice, and really foster safe and inclusive environments in our schools.

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Tell Our Legislators: No Cuts to Public Schools!

Oregon’s proposed budget would mean more cuts to public schools. These cuts could mean larger classes, fewer electives, and the loss of wrap-around services.

It is unacceptable, and our lawmakers need to hear from you what budget cuts would mean for your students. We need to spell out what our schools need in order to ensure every student has the support, tools, and learning time they need to be successful.

The Oregon Legislature's Ways & Means Committee is hosting a public hearing Saturday, February 11, at Portland Community College, Sylvania campus, from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Come tell your story! Sign up here.

Join Us for the OEA Lobby Day

There are major shifts on the horizon for public education, and now more than ever Portland students need your passion and advocacy. Join us for the Legislative Engagement Training & Lobby Day and learn best practices for tapping your experience to support public education.

Monday, February 20, 2017 (President’s Day) @ 9:00 AM
Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial St. SE, Salem, OR 97301

Learn more at OregonEd.org

Register here. Registration deadline is Friday, February 10, 2017 at 5:00 PM. Questions? Email oea-gr@oregoned.org

Superintendent Search Update

After a series of conversations with the Portland Public School Board, the Portland Association of Teachers has decided to take part in the Portland Public Schools 2017 Superintendent search. Though we do not feel that the Advisory Committee is the best way to conduct such a search, we saw benefits to participation.

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Ratification Update

PAT members voted yes on our TA mini-package for contract negotiations. The next step is for the School Board to vote. After that, it will immediately become contract language. 

PAT Elections: Check your PPS Email

You should have received an electronic ballot for PAT elections. It was sent to PPS email on Tuesday, February 7 at about 11:30 am, with the subject "2017 PAT Elections."

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Staffing for the 2017-18 School Year

Due to changes in the contract, the staffing process will begin much earlier than in the past. Educators may expect to be notified of unassignments in mid-February.  Informational meetings for members who are unassigned are scheduled for March 1 and 2.  PPS will offer Interview and Resume workshops on March 7 and 15 for any interested educator.

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Sick Leave May be Used in Increments of One Hour

There may be occasions when you need to be absent from work for less than a full day.  Appropriate paid leave may be used to cover such absences.  Examples might include having to leave work an hour early to go to a doctor appointment (sick leave), or needing to be absent for a couple of hours to take your child to the doctor (family illness leave).  Check the contract for the specific requirements for requesting various types of leave.  (See, Article 14).

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Tax Time

Members may be able to deduct their union dues on their 2016 income taxes. This includes NEA, OEA and PAT dues. The deduction must meet the limitations on miscellaneous itemized deductions (deductible when "Miscellaneous" itemized deductions exceed two percent of adjusted gross income). To claim union dues as a deduction you must use the long Form 1040.

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Read Across America Grants Available Through PAT

Read Across America is a fun and exciting activity sponsored by the National Education Association to encourage reading and support community involvement in our schools. On Monday, March 2, 2017 we would like for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult.

NEA provides a wealth of materials and ideas for activities. Grant applications are due online to PAT by February 10th by 4:30 p.m. You can find directions and more details here and apply online here.

Teaching In a Time of Trump

The Critical Educators Collective and PAT’s Social Justice Committee invite you to a Saturday Teach-In: "Teaching in a Time of Trump", Saturday, February 11, from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Lincoln HS

Worried about the threats the Trump administration poses to our students and their families? Unsure how to address the root causes of racism, xenophobia, misogyny, economic inequality, and climate change in your classroom? Unsure of how to teach for truth and justice in a “post-facts” world?

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Save the Date: Student Loan Debt Forgiveness and Basic Financial Planning Workshop

Do you have outstanding student loan debt? Please mark your calendar for Thursday, April 27, 4:30—7:00 PM at the PAT office, to learn about your options to manage or erase them.

Continue reading

Retirement Planning Seminar

Thinking of retiring in five years or less? Join us March 1, 2017, from 4:30-6:00 PM at PAT. Topics include:

  • How does my pension work?
  • What can I do to prepare now?
  • Is it too late to start saving for retirement?

Refreshments provided. Please RSVP at pdxteachers.org under “For Members” or by filling out this RSVP form