May 5 and 11, Upcoming Webinar: Instructional Strategies and Accommodations for Students with ASD

Fellow PAT member and educator Vicki Silenzi is leading an OEA webinar on Instructional Strategies and Accommodations for Students with ASD

In this one-hour webinar, participants will review impacts of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). You will learn to recognize ableism and ableist language while maintaining a strengths-based approach to meeting student needs. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies and individual accommodations will be presented. Career educators will share their 20+ years of experience with a focus on viewpoints and preferences of students on the spectrum and their families. Closed captions provided and 1 PDU available for attending.

There will be two opportunities to take part in this webinar, Thursday, May 5th at 4:00 PM and Wednesday, May 11th at 4:00 PM. Find more details and register here.

We hope to see you there.

President’s Message: What We Really Want for Educator Appreciation Week

Dear Educator, 

At the PPS School Board meeting on April 19, the board passed its resolution to recognize Teacher and Administrator Appreciation Week, May 2-6, 2022. The board invited me to give remarks, which you can read below: 

Good Evening Chair DePass, Vice Chair Scott, Student Rep Weingard, Deputy Superintendent Hertz, and members of the Board,

Thank you for taking the time this evening to reflect on and appreciate the incredible value of our professional educators in Portland Public Schools. 

As a PPS parent myself, I could not be more grateful to the educators at Vernon and McDaniel who have had such a deep impact on my own children, teaching them not just knowledge and skills, but also, how to be in community, how to create positive change, and how to pursue what you love, embrace what makes you unique, and support others to do the same.

As the President of the Portland Association of Teachers, I have the incredible honor of representing more than 4,000 educators in PPS, some of the most dedicated and community-minded workers in our society. Every educator I know chose this profession because of a profound belief in the promise of our youth, a passion for learning, and a steadfast commitment to building a more just and equitable society.

This passion and commitment is on display every single day, in every school, in countless interactions with students. 

As you all know, these last two years have been an incredibly challenging time for our profession. Educators have had to redesign their practices over and over, and have been there at every step to support students facing unprecedented struggles and challenges. 

Despite the uncertainty in our society, educators do more than seems possible to make each day joyful, responsive, and productive, for every student that comes through their door.

And this year, even educators with 10, 20, 30 years of experience have faced challenges beyond what they have ever seen. I think we can all agree that what schools provided before the pandemic is not adequate to meet the needs of today.

Knowing that, teachers across the District ask themselves every day: What do these students need now? What is most important? How can I provide it for them?

Just so, as a district, we need to ask: What do our students need now? And what do educators need to provide it for them? 

As we reflect on the value of our professional educators, please know that the things that educators need to feel appreciated are the same things that inspired us to become educators in the first place: 

First, educators want the teaching and learning conditions that honor the role that public education plays in our society and in our students' lives. This includes clean and safe school buildings and classrooms. (Thank you to our custodians. We need more of them, and we need to pay them a fair wage). And it includes support for our students in the building, including whole-child enrichments, and more Special Education and ELL staff. 

Second, educators want to the be provided the tools we need to meet the needs of our students, including time in the workday to plan, collaborate, and communicate with families, and smaller class sizes and caseload so we can give each student the attention they deserve

Finally, educators ask to be treated as the professionals we are, and to be listened to all year long

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Thiel

PAT President

Nominations & Elections: Run For Interim Seats on the PAT Executive Board

The PAT Nominations & Elections (N&E) Committee announced that there will be an interim election for two PAT Executive Board Director positions on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022 (terms of positions are July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023).

Nominations for these positions opened at the April RA on April 6th, 2022, and will close at 5:00 PM on Monday, May 2nd, 2022. To nominate yourself for these positions, please use this nomination form

 Nomination forms must be submitted electronically to Jennifer Dixon ([email protected]) by 5:00 p.m. on May 2nd, 2022.  Any PAT member in good standing may run for this position. Non-members are not eligible to run for an elected union office. Learn more about Executive Board Director responsibilities.

In accordance with our bylaws, the Representative Assembly will elect the interim eboard directors. Voting will occur at the May 11th Virtual RA. Only elected reps, who are registered for the RA and present during the time of voting, will be permitted to vote. There will be no nominations from the floor due to our online format. 

Candidate speeches will be given at the May RA. The Voters’ Pamphlet and Ballots will be sent electronically to building representatives in attendance at the May 11th PAT RA.

For more information, you can refer to the Nomination Letter to All Members (from the PAT Nominations and Elections Committee, which was also linked in the April 6 Advocate), or to the PAT Nominations and Elections Handbook.

Advocacy: Deadline for Contract Exceptions May 13th

Deadline: The deadline this year is Friday, May 13th, 2022 (for Contract Exceptions for next academic year). Contract Exceptions are welcomed prior to this date. When Contract Exceptions are received before the deadline, it provides more time for documents to be reviewed and questions to be answered. At times, the Advocacy Committee needs additional information prior to making a decision. Find the Contract Exception form here

What is a Contract Exception: A Contract Exception is a process that allows a worksite to apply for an exception to the terms and conditions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). While creating exceptions to our contract language is not encouraged, we recognize that specific worksites may have a specific need for a given year. This process allows for that need to be considered. Contract Exceptions must be approved by the PAT Advocacy Committee and the District prior to implementation. A contract exception is valid only for the school year for which it was approved. 

Who decides if my school should submit an exception for approval: Contract Exceptions are member driven, so should be initiated by educators. 

If referencing a previous year’s form, double check that you have the correct article number. Here is the current contract.

Some key things to remember:

  • The article number needs to be specific (eg 7.7.1) to the requested exception.
  • Double check your math.
  • You MUST include copies of schedules or calendars that reflect the current and proposed changes. Identify changes to teacher hours, student hours, planning time, etc. 
  • Consider and address the impact on Specialists vs. Gen Ed teachers.
  • Required: What is the option for members who oppose the exception?
  • Review the FAQ’s here.

Role of the Committee when reviewing:

  • Protect member rights
  • Support member needs
  • Ensure the integrity of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) 
  • Do no harm to the bargaining process and/or open grievances

Solidarity with Custodians and Nutrition Service Workers

Like the PAT,  the union that represents custodians and nutrition service workers, SEIU 503, is entering contract negotiations with the District this year. They have been advocating at School Board meetings and in the community that the District demonstrates how much it values their work by paying them a living wage.

Even though PPS has more than 60 full-time custodian positions posted, they continue to go unfilled. The lack of custodial staff means that the custodial workers on the job cannot keep up with the demanding workload of keeping classrooms and bathrooms clean.

An SEIU survey found 72% of workers report they are too short-staffed to keep up with current needs, 48% say the problem is getting worse and nearly one in five say they are not likely to return to work at the District in the upcoming school year.  

The PAT stands in solidarity with SEIU’s demands on the District: 

  • Pay competitive wages. Starting wages of $14.40 an hour for cafeteria staff and $16.70 for custodians will not attract or retain quality workers. 
  • Hire enough staff so these essential workers can make our schools safe, healthy places for the children in our community. 

Show your solidarity and take action by signing SEIU’s petition We Need Safe and Healthy Schools! 

Please save the date: SEIU rally at Cleveland High School, June 7th @ 6:00pm. More info coming soon.

PAT’s End-of-Year Party in the Park, May 20th

Come join us on Friday, May 20th at 3:45pm (or anytime after school) at Laurelhurst Park to help celebrate the (almost) end of the school year! It’s been over two years since we’ve been able to hold our annual Party in the Park, so we are excited to finally be able to gather together again! Food and drinks will be provided (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Please feel free to bring your families, too!

RSVP here today

Help Elect Candidates Who Will Fight For Us

Ballots are dropping this week, and our endorsed candidates need your help! Let’s work together to get them into office so that they can fight for us, our students, and all Portlanders. 

Sign up with a campaign to knock on doors, send texts, make phone calls, or lend a hand in other ways:

Below is the complete list of PAT PAC’s endorsed candidates. Learn more about them on our website.

Portland City Council

Position 2: AJ McCreary

Position 3: Jo Ann Hardesty

Multnomah County
Chair: Jessica Vega Pederson

District 2: Susheela Jayapal

Metro Council

President: Lynn Peterson

Oregon House of Representatives

HD 28: Dacia Grayber

HD 33: Maxine Dexter

HD 41: Kaliko Castille

HD 43: Tawna Sanchez

HD 44: Travis Nelson

HD 45: Thuy Tran

HD 46: Khanh Pham

Oregon Senate:

SD 17: Elizabeth Steiner Hayward

Also check out OEA PAC’s endorsements for statewide candidates:

Governor: Tina Kotek

Oregon Labor Commissioner: Christina Stephenson

U.S. Senate: Ron Wyden

U.S. Congress (CD1): Suzanne Bonamici

U.S. Congress (CD2): No Recommendation

U.S. Congress (CD3): Earl Blumenauer

U.S. Congress (CD4): Val Hoyle

U.S. Congress (CD5): Jamie McLeod-Skinner

U.S. Congress (CD6): Andrea Salinas

Whoever you choose to vote for, make sure to get your ballots in by May 17!

The PAT PAC is funded entirely through member contributions, not through dues dollars. Learn more about the PAT PAC here.

Registration Coming Soon! OEA Summer Conference

Save the Dates for the OEA Summer Conference in Bend, OR! Two distinct conference opportunities will be offered to fit your needs:  

Virtual Conference: Thursday, July 14  

In-Person Conference: Tues., July 19 - Thurs., July 21 Riverhouse Hotel on the Deschutes 3075 N Hwy 97, Bend, OR 97703 

Registration should open Friday, April 29! www.oregoned.org/summerconference 

See our flier here!

 

It's Time for PAT Rep Elections

It is time to elect your site’s PAT Building Representatives for next school year! Each site is entitled to one Representative for every nine members.

What do Building Reps do? Our union works because Reps do a lot! That’s why it is important to have a full team of Reps to share the load. 

Here are some of the responsibilities Reps take on: 

  • Come to Representative Assemblies at PAT each month
  • Hold meetings for PAT members at their site
  • Educate members about our contract
  • Advocate to protect member rights and due process
  • Meet with building administrators to solve problems
  • Organize members around issues at your site or in the District 

Ideally, each school has a diverse team of Reps that includes educators from a variety of grade levels and specialties, one that mirrors the racial and gender diversity of your site. Think about who you believe would be a good representative, and talk to them about running, too.

Our building elections are how we ensure that Reps at each site are trusted and respected leaders. It is crucial that members have a voice in who is representing them, and that everyone knows the process and has access to running and voting. If you’re interested in running to be a Rep, let your current Head Rep know.

Reminders:

  • Every site must hold a Rep election every year.
  • Only PAT members can vote, and only PAT members can run to be a Rep.
  • Each site should create a ballot and hold their election before the May 11th RA.

For more information (including: How to Hold a Building Rep Election, Instructions for Creating Your Ballot (and the Ballot Template), Where to Report Your Elections Results, etc.), please visit www.pdxteachers.org/pat_elections 

Upcoming Events

Save the Dates for Upcoming PAT Events and Socials

We are excited to announce several events hosted by PAT and offer our members more opportunities to gather and connect. Mark your calendars and be on the lookout for more details on the following events:

  • May 20th, 3:45 PM: End of Year Party in the Park 
  • May 27th, 4:30 PM: Racial Equity Social
  • June 8th, 6:30 PM: Retirement Celebration

May Primary Dates

  • Wed. April 27, 2022 - Ballots mailed
  • Tue. May 17, 2022 - Primary Election Day
  • Drop off ballots by 8:00pm May 17th

April 29-30th, OEA Rep Assembly, Holiday Inn Portland, Columbia Waterfront

PAT Rep Assembly and Committee Meetings- Join the committee mailing list to receive a Zoom Link.

  • May 11th, 4:30-6:30 PM: May PAT Rep Assembly
  • May 18th, 4:30-6:30 PM: IPD Committee Meeting
  • May 25th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Legislative Committee Meeting
  • May 25th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Racial Equity Committee Meeting
  • May 25th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Membership Committee Meeting
  • May 26th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Social Justice/Community Outreach Committee Meeting*
  • May 26th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Substitute Committee Meeting*

*These meetings have been moved to Thursday over the usual Wednesday scheduling

**Unless otherwise noted, all PAT committee meetings will be held virtually on Zoom for the time being

For all upcoming events, please see the PAT calendar and OEA calendar

President's Message: PPS Budget: Let's Lay the Groundwork for a Better Year

With spring, comes a reminder of new beginnings and possibilities. As we approach the end of this school year, now is the time to lay the groundwork for next school year, and for the change we need to make sure it is a better year for our students, and for the educators and school staff across the District. 

At the district level, the most important step in preparing for next year is determining the budget. The budget will determine how much funding goes toward direct supports to students, including supporting smaller class sizes, special education supports, ELL services, school support staff, and mental health services; how much we invest in custodial and transportation services; how much goes toward central office staff and district-level contractors; and how much goes into reserves. 

This month, PPS is presenting a full budget to the community and to the school board. The District is planning to present an initial budget draft to the school board and the community on April 26th, and to vote on the final budget on June 14th. In the time in between, the public will have the opportunity to review the proposed budget and give feedback. You can see the complete PPS budget calendar here.

Of course, even though the initial budget draft has not yet been presented, PPS has already moved forward with some budget decisions that deeply impact our schools. The District already implemented staffing allocations to reduce the number of elementary and middle-school teachers across the District by at least 90 positions. We know that our students’ needs are greater than ever, and our schools need MORE staff and support next year, not less. 

Additionally, we have heard (and are still awaiting data from the District to confirm) that Special Education staffing will be reduced for next year, even as Special Education professionals are facing crushing workload, and are struggling to meet requirements for students. We have heard concerns that the new staffing model for ELL leaves out support for students who are close to exiting but still require ELL support. We need to allocate funding now to provide students with identified needs all the support they require.

Recently, the Oregon Secretary of State released this follow-up report on the 2019 audit of PPS. Among other things, it recommends that PPS “make its budget more clear and transparent to the public,” and that the board “identify savings areas and direct more money to classrooms.” We agree– rather than cutting teacher positions and adding new central office jobs, we need to concentrate resources where they matter most– in the classroom.

Please join me in thanking Representative Maxine Dexter, for saying so at the PPS board meeting last night. She asked the board to “prioritize the health and education of students above any other consideration, and to do it in sincere partnership with the educators of this District.” 

Although the staffing process has already moved forward, it is not too late for our District to invest in the fully-staffed schools that our students deserve. The budget process is designed to allow community stakeholders to weigh in on how our tax dollars should be used to best support our students, and put words into practice. Educators, parents, and students are the key stakeholders in our schools, and the District’s job is to listen to what we need to make our schools work and match our values.

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Thiel

PAT President

Nominations & Elections: Run For Interim seats on the PAT Executive Board

The PAT Nominations & Elections (N&E) Committee announces that there will be an interim election for two PAT Executive Board Director positions on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022 (terms of  July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023).

Nominations for these positions will open at the April RA on April 6th, 2022, and will close at 5:00 PM on Monday, May 2nd, 2022. To nominate yourself for this position, please use this nomination form

 Nomination forms must be submitted electronically to Jennifer Dixon ([email protected]) by 5:00 p.m. on May 2nd, 2022.  Any PAT member in good standing may run for this position. Non-members are not eligible to run for an elected union office. Learn more about Executive Board Director responsibilities.

In accordance with our bylaws, the Representative Assembly will elect the interim directors. Voting will occur at the May 11th Virtual RA. Only elected reps, who are registered for the RA and present during the time of voting, will be permitted to vote. There will be no nominations from the floor due to our online format. 

Candidate speeches will be given at the May RA. The Voters’ Pamphlet and Ballots will be sent electronically to building representatives in attendance at the May 11th PAT RA.

For more information, you can refer to the PAT Nominations and Elections Handbook.  

Aspiring Educators of Color Scholarship: Applications Due April 19th

Recruiting, supporting, and retaining educators of color is crucial, for our students and for our profession. We are excited to award two scholarships to Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) seeking a rewarding future career in education. 

  • One $6,000 scholarship will be awarded to a Portland Public Schools graduating senior who plans on enrolling in a college or university program to begin their journey towards becoming an educator.
  • One $6,000 scholarship to a Portland Public Schools employee (not PAT eligible) currently enrolled in a university program to become a certified educator. Any classified or non-represented employees, such as bus drivers, para-educators, community agents, custodians, and nutrition services workers are eligible to apply.

Scholarship applications will be accepted through April 19th, 2022. Please see the links below to download an application and find instructions to apply.

Social Justice and Community Outreach Committee Update

The Social Justice Community Outreach Committee (SJCO) has a number of upcoming meetings and planning opportunities for our members. If you’ve ever been curious about what we do, we hope you’ll pop in before the year is over to check us out! It’s a great place to connect with other members who are passionate about inclusivity, supporting unions, and actively promoting justice in and out of our district. Here is what to look forward to in the next few months (please RSVP here for any of the meetings):

  • Ramadan has begun! Here is a Ramadan 2022- one pager pdf created by a teacher in Washington that provides guidance on supporting students who are observing this religious holiday.
  • Here are Educator Resources for Arab American Heritage Month to use not only in April, but all year round.
  • Check out this Art and Social Justice, a Student/Family Event, taking place virtually on April 7, 6:30-7:30pm. Mic Crenshaw will moderate a student-friendly discussion with Latoya Lovely (Abernethy educator) and Hobbs Waters about the ways art and social justice interact, followed by a guided art activity for all participants. Please share this event and flier with students and families in grades 3-8!
  • May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. A big thank you to the subcommittee hard at work creating resources for our members! These will be shared later this month.
  • Wednesday April 27, 4:30-6:30pm SJCO Monthly Meeting and LGBTQIA+ and Disability Pride Month (June) subcommittee. This will be the first time SJCO has put together educator resources for this important focus. Please bring your passion and your expertise to help curate lessons, articles, books, and other resources!
  • Thursday May 26, 4:30-6:30pm SJCO Monthly Meeting and Latinx Heritage Month subcommittee. We are happy to get this ball rolling ahead of next school year. It has been tricky to find time before the start of Latinx Heritage Month, as it begins so shortly after the start of school. We have materials from the last two years as a strong base and welcome new resources and ideas.

It's Time for PAT Rep Elections

It is time to elect your site’s PAT Building Representatives for next school year! Each site is entitled to one Representative for every nine members.

What do Building Reps do? Our union works because Reps do a lot! That’s why it is important to have a full team of Reps to share the load. 

Here are some of the responsibilities Reps take on: 

  • Come to Representative Assemblies at PAT each month
  • Hold meetings for PAT members at their site
  • Educate members about our contract
  • Advocate to protect member rights and due process
  • Meet with building administrators to solve problems
  • Organize members around issues at your site or in the District 

Ideally, each school has a diverse team of Reps that includes educators from a variety of grade levels and specialties, one that mirrors the racial and gender diversity of your site. Think about who you believe would be a good representative, and talk to them about running, too.

Our building elections are how we ensure that Reps at each site are trusted and respected leaders. It is crucial that members have a voice in who is representing them, and that everyone knows the process and has access to running and voting. If you’re interested in running to be a Rep, let your current Head Rep know.

Reminders:

  • Every site must hold a rep election every year.
  • Only PAT members can vote, and only PAT members can run to be a Rep.
  • Each site should create a ballot and hold their election before the May 11th RA.

For more information (including: How to Hold a Building Rep Election, Instructions for Creating Your Ballot (and the Ballot Template), Where to Report Your Elections Results, etc.), please visit www.pdxteachers.org/pat_elections

PAT PAC Endorsements for May Primary

The PAT PAC is proud to announce our endorsement of the following candidates. Learn more about the candidates on our website

Portland City Council

Position 2: AJ McCreary

Position 3: Jo Ann Hardesty

Multnomah County
Chair: Jessica Vega Pederson

District 2: Susheela Jayapal

Metro Council

President: Lynn Peterson

Oregon House of Representatives

HD 28: Dacia Grayber

HD 33: Maxine Dexter

HD 41: Kaliko Castille

HD 43: Tawna Sanchez

HD 44: Travis Nelson

HD 46: Khanh Pham

Oregon Senate:

SD 17: Elizabeth Steiner Hayward

Some opportunities to support our candidates:

The PAT PAC is funded entirely through member contributions, not through dues dollars. Learn more about the PAT PAC here.

Starbucks Workers Solidarity Caravan and Sip-in: Sat. April 16, 2:00-4:00 PM

Starbucks workers around the country, and at nine stores in Portland, have been organizing to unionize. Let's show them some love & encouragement !      

Gather Saturday, April 16, at 2:00 PM at the Westmoreland store (7001 SE Milwaukie) for a rally and sip-in. Car caravan with signs, honking, streamers and balloons to the store at 2880 SE Powell and rally. Sip-in again at 525 NE Grand. 

These are the locations of the nine Starbucks stores where workers are organizing to unionize. Please show workers your support!

  • 16175 SW Walker Rd, Beaverton
  • 2933 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton
  • 7315 SW Garden Home Rd, Portland
  • 2880 SE Powell Blvd, Portland
  • 525 NE Grand Ave, Portland
  • 555 SW Oak St, Portland
  • 2328 W Burnside St, Portland
  • 7001 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland
  • 1555 N Tomahawk Island Dr, Portland

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

  • April 6th, 4:30-6:30 PM: PAT Rep Assembly

PAT Committee Meetings- Join the committee mailing list to receive a Zoom Link.

  • April 13th, 4:30-6:30 PM: IPD Committee Meeting
  • April 20th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Legislative Committee Meeting
  • April 20th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Racial Equity Committee Meeting
  • April 27th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Membership Committee Meeting
  • April 27th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Social Justice/Community Outreach Committee Meeting
  • April 27th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Substitute Committee Meeting

**Unless otherwise noted, all PAT committee meetings will be held virtually on Zoom for the time being

Upcoming OEA Training and Events:

For all upcoming events, please see the PAT calendar and OEA calendar

PAT PAC Endorsements for May 2022 Primary

The PAT Political Action Committee is proud to announce our endorsement of the following candidates:

See OEA and PAT PAC Endorsements

 

CITY COUNCIL POSITION 2: AJ MCCREARY

AJ is an organizer, parent, and PPS graduate. She most recently hails as the director of the Equitable Giving Circle, a reparations organization. She is a community organizer, most notable for coordinating mutual aid during the pandemic. AJ’s core values and priorities are social justice, climate justice, housing justice and economic development with an equity lens.

 

 

CITY COUNCIL POSITION 3: JO ANN HARDESTY

In her first term on Portland City Council, Jo Ann Hardesty has been a fierce advocate for programs that improve the lives of Portland residents, including PAT members and PPS families. She has taken the lead on programs like the Portland Street Response, and on improving transportation with a focus on underserved areas like East Portland.

 

 

METRO PRESIDENT: LYNN PETERSON

Metro President Lynn Peterson is deeply committed to solving big problems in the metro area, and is especially focused on houselessness and waste management. In her first term she proved that she thinks big, and she gets big things done. She has worked collaboratively in the past with PAT and with a wide variety of community organizations, to ensure that as many voices as possible were heard. Lynn is steadfast in her values, which align with ours around equity, public education, and the importance of unions. 


 

MULTNOMAH COUNTY CHAIR: JESSICA VEGA PEDERSON

There are several highly qualified candidates in the race for Multnomah County Chair, including incumbent County Commissioners Sharon Meieran and Lori Stegmann, who have been solid allies to educators. However, Commissioner Jessica Vega Peterson stood out, in large part because of her work on making the Preschool for All program a reality. She is a strong voice for public education, housing, and a just economic recovery from the covid pandemic, and is ready to partner with educators to improve services to all children.

 

 

MULTNOMAH COUNTY POSITION 2: SUSHEELA JAYAPAL

In her first term on the Multnomah County Commission, Susheela Jayapal has helped secure funding to help the homeless population in both the long and short term, and has worked to reduce pollution. Moving forward, she is committed to shoring up the wraparound services that the County provides to Portland Public Schools, ensuring an equitable recovery from the pandemic, and of course continuing to work towards ending homelessness in Multnomah County.

 

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 28: DACIA GRAYBER

Dacia Grayber is a firefighter, union member, and PPS parent. Dacia comes from a family of teachers and union supporters, and has repeatedly demonstrated her impeccable union values. In her first term in the Oregon legislature, she has been a strong advocate for working people, and we look forward to continuing that work with her.

 

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 33: MAXINE DEXTER

Maxine Dexter is a Pulmonary and Critical Care doctor, a first-generation college graduate, and a PPS parent. Having grown up lacking resources, she attributes her own success to her public school teachers, and to a union job which allowed her to fund her own education. In Salem, she is a powerful advocate for public health and affordable health care, revenue reform to fully fund public services, and labor rights. 

 

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 41: KALIKO CASTILLE

Kaliko Castille was born and raised in Milwaukie and is a new dad who wants to make sure he leaves the world a better place for his child. In his business career he has focused on ensuring equity for people of color. With his deep roots in his district and his strong progressive values, he will provide a valuable perspective in Salem.

 

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 43: TAWNA SANCHEZ

Representative Tawna Sanchez is a lifelong advocate for her community, and her commitment to public education makes her an asset in the Oregon House. She is a champion for Indiginous families as a co-founder of Native American Youth and Family Services (NAYA), and has proven her dedication to young people by serving as a foster parent to more than 18 children. She will continue to work tirelessly to make sure our underserved students’ perspectives are heard in Salem.

 

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 44: TRAVIS NELSON

There are two very strong candidates in this race, and North Portland will be lucky to be represented by either of them. That said, Travis Nelson, a leader in the Oregon Nurses Association, stands out for his strong union values. In his first term in office, he has already shown his support for Portland teachers: He was a leader in the effort to push back against the district’s proposed staffing cuts by helping to collect signatures from his fellow members of the BIPOC caucus. We look forward to continuing to work with Rep Nelson on this and other issues.

 

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 45: THUY TRAN

This is another race with two excellent candidates, but optometrist Thuy Tran has earned our endorsement. A former member of the Parkrose School Board, she has an excellent grasp of the current issues in education. We expect her to be an effective advocate in Salem for educators, as well as for the diverse community of Northeast Portland.

 

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 46: KHANH PHAM

As a long-time community advocate, Khanh Pham believes that the best policy work is accomplished with input from our communities. She is a working mom, a PPS parent, and a relentless advocate for the diverse communities of the Jade District. In Salem, she is a leader in Oregon's transition to a renewable economy, and will fight for the revenue reform we need to build a more just society.

 

 

 

SENATE DISTRICT 17: ELIZABETH STEINER HAYWARD

As a practicing family medicine physician, Sen Steiner Hayward has long been committed to improving access to affordable healthcare. She sees how issues like healthcare, education, racial justice, housing, and climate are all interconnected, and works to bridge all gaps so that Oregon can be the healthiest state in the US.

 

The PAT Political Action Committee continues to work hard to identify great candidates in this May’s primary election. The panel considered the following criteria while making their endorsements: support for collective bargaining; commitment to educator voice; knowledge of education issues such as standardized testing and disrupted learning; commitment to racial equity; advocacy for strong, fully-funded public schools; and electability.

The PAT PAC is funded entirely through member contributions, not through dues dollars. Learn more about the PAT PAC here.

Also, please check out OEA PAC’s endorsements for statewide candidates.

President’s Message: Our Community Stands with Us for Small Class Sizes

Educators have been outspoken about the fact that our students' needs this year are immense, and dramatically outsize the supports available at our schools. That is why it is unthinkable that PPS could argue that our schools are overstaffed this year, and move to cut teaching positions and raise class sizes.

The last few weeks, I have written plenty about these cuts, the resulting class sizes, and the fact that PPS has the funding to make next year dramatically BETTER for our students, instead of packing more students into fewer classrooms, with less time and attention from their teacher.  

(In case you missed anything, you can read my message from the last Advocate, and my remarks to the PPS School Board on February 22nd and March 1st.)  

When we first heard about these cuts, PPS said the cuts were necessary because of a projected 8% enrollment decline, which they said would result in a similar loss of funding. Since that time, we’ve documented that PPS is actually getting slightly more funding overall, and significantly MORE funding per student next year

Now we are hearing some of our school board members say that the reason for the cuts is because, in their opinion, class-size does not matter.

Anyone who has spent time in a classroom knows that class size makes an enormous difference-- to students’ academic learning, to their social-emotional wellness, and to their sense of belonging and community. 

And it is not just educators who think so. Families and community members have been overwhelmingly supportive as well, demanding PPS put our resources where they count-- in the classroom.

Our community has given PPS a mandate to lower class sizes by consistently approving the Portland Teacher Levy, which raises about $100 million a year for PPS, enough to fund at least 825 teachers. No other locality has a local source of funding like this, so PPS class sizes should be significantly LOWER than other districts. 

Thankfully, leaders in our community are also pushing back on cuts to education at a time when student need has never been greater, and we have the funds to make next year a BETTER YEAR: 

  • Thank you, City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty for posting on Twitter that you “Stand with PAT.”
  • Thank you, Gubernatorial Candidate Tina Kotek for urging PPS to “put every resource into the classroom experience at a time when students, teachers, and communities desperately need it.”
  • Thank you to our fellow PPS Unions: SEIU, PFSP, DCU and ATU wrote this letter urging PPS to invest in students by dramatically reducing class sizes and caseloads.
  • Thank you to Representative Pham, Jama, Nelson, and Salinas, and Senator Lawrence Spence of the Oregon BIPOC Caucus for sending this letter to PPS leaders reminding them that “cuts to student facing positions should be the option of absolute last resort.“

And most importantly, THANK YOU to all of you, as well as all of the students and parents, who showed up in solidarity to school board meetings in the last few weeks, to ask the board to CUT CLASS SIZES, not teachers. 

Together, we can make next year a better year for our students. We are asking PPS leaders to share that vision, and utilize the resources we already have to make it a reality. 

In Solidarity,


Elizabeth Thiel

PAT President

PAT PAC Endorsements for May Primary

The Portland Association of Teachers Political Action Committee (PAT PAC) is proud to announce its endorsements for the May 17, 2022 primary election.

The PAT PAC endorsement panel consisted of 8 educators along with OEA staff. The panel considered the following criteria while making their endorsements: support for collective bargaining; commitment to educator voice; knowledge of education issues such as standardized testing and disrupted learning; commitment to racial equity; advocacy for strong, fully-funded public schools; and electability.

We look forward to working with these candidates to better serve members, students, and families in PPS and across the region and the state.

Portland City Council

Position 3: Jo Ann Hardesty

Multnomah County
Chair: Jessica Vega Pederson

District 2: Susheela Jayapal

Metro Council

President: Lynn Peterson

Oregon House of Representatives

HD28: Dacia Grayber

HD33: Maxine Dexter

HD43: Tawna Sanchez

HD44: Travis Nelson

HD46: Khanh Pham

Oregon Senate:

SD17: Elizabeth Steiner Hayward

Coming soon: Recommendations for City Council Position 2 and House Districts 41 and 45.

For more information about these candidates and about PAT PAC, please visit www.pdxteachers.org/pat_pac