President's Message: Keep Up the Pressure

After decades of disinvestment, teachers across Oregon are conducting a one-day walkout on May 8th to advocate for increased school funding.

Thanks to you, and your passion for our students, Portland Public Schools has announced their decision to pre-emptively close all 81 school buildings on Wednesday, May 8th.

An unplanned day off of school is a big deal for Portland’s 49,000 students, but this is a long-term investment in their future.

We continually hear from our community—parents, public school families, PTAs, advocates, local businesses—that our schools are devastatingly underfunded and students are suffering because of it.

We see the impact every day—our classrooms are bursting at the seams, our buildings are falling apart, and students are missing out on the individual attention they deserve. Things are only getting worse. Over the last decade, we’ve seen the curriculum pared down, with less time for arts, music, world languages, and other offerings, and there are more and more students who aren’t getting their needs met.

We’ve had enough—so we’re standing up for students and taking action!

Thousands of Portland teachers will be walking out on Wednesday, May 8th to tell lawmakers loud and clear that it’s time to raise billions in new revenue and significantly increase school funding.

This is unprecedented in the state of Oregon, but we’re building on the teacher walkouts and strikes around the nation, from West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona to Los Angeles, Denver, and Oakland.

We are inviting all families, students, and community supporters to join us at 11:00 AM at the Tom McCall Waterfront for a rally and march. This is the only way we can secure the investments our students need.

It’s time—past time—to fund the schools our students deserve. Our students can’t wait any longer and neither can we.

At Tuesday’s staff meeting, your building rep will be asking you to sign up to attend our actions on May 8th. It’s time to take a stand, for your students, for your colleagues, and for yourself.

In Solidarity,

Suzanne Cohen 
PAT President