President's Message: Update on MAP Testing

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope the holiday provides everyone with some well-deserved rest.

In the meantime, I wanted to give PAT members an update on MAP testing in PPS. On Monday, November 5th, we had a productive meeting with Deputy Superintendent Yvonne Curtis about some of the concerns you’ve expressed regarding MAP testing. We left with an ask: PPS should go back to the original plan of MAP Testing only in Math for 3rd-8th/Algebra grades, and students should only take the test once, in one language.

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PERS Bubble and Retirement Incentives: Don't Miss Key Deadlines!

In the last bargain, PAT stopped the District from taking away a valuable benefit. We protected what is called the “PERS Bubble” (officially called “Re-employment of Retirees”) and the Early Retirement Incentive. Both of those provisions are explained in detail in Article 15 of the PAT/PPS contract.

The PERS Bubble refers to the ability of a PAT member to officially retire under the PERS system during the middle of the school year, but work through the end of the year. This saves PPS money, as they no longer have to make PERS contributions for the educator who retires, because they are essentially “substituting” for themselves for the rest of the year. The educator’s earnings remain intact, PPS saves money, and the students have continuity of instruction. It’s a true win-win.

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Speech Language Pathologists National Board Certification Reimbursements

After weeks of discussions, we’ve been able to resolve how Speech Language Pathologists will be paid for their National Board Certifications.  The District will handle the stipends as follows:

1) If you were previously eligible for a stipend under Article 12.1.6, but did not receive it, that will be corrected for the remainder of the grandfathering period, and the correction will be retroactive.

2) Any SLP whose certification lapsed, and who subsequently was denied the stipend, will have that stipend restored pending proof of recertification. That correction will be retroactive if you were denied the stipend because your certification expired. The correction will not be retroactive if you did not request the stipend because you hadn’t renewed your certification. SLPs who renew their certification now and become eligible for the stipend will have that stipend processed as they currently do under Article 12.2.1.3.

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When Do I Cover for an Absent Colleague?

The PAT Office has received numerous questions about whether or not members must cover class for an absent colleague. 

The answer is in Article 8, Section 7 which states:

Every effort will be made to employ substitute teachers to cover classes of absent teachers. Except in true emergency situations and except as otherwise provided in 8.7.2, professional educators shall not be required to substitute for other professional educators.

What constitutes a “true emergency”?  In discussions with the District we’ve agree that an emergency is understood to be an unforeseeable circumstance, such as a colleague having a medical emergency while at work, that creates an uncovered class. 

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Educators of Color Social - November 28th

The Racial Equity Task Force is hosting a social for PPS educators of color. This is a meet-and-greet where dinner will be served.

Come network with others, in a safe space, and help build a supportive community. RSVP here.

Black Friday Protest: Fund Education and Make Nike Pay Their Fair Share

For years, Nike has received outsized tax breaks and paid far too little in state taxes. Join Portland Jobs with Justice and Oregon Public Employees United for a Black Friday demonstration in front of Niketown Portland. Make Nike pay its fair share so we can fully fund education!

When:    Friday, November 23rd, 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Where:   Niketown Portland, 638 SW 5th Ave

Find out more information here.

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 - 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.

RSVP here