Oregon

Portland Public Schools To Close High School Gaps

OPB | May 13, 2013 7:02 a.m.

Contributed By:

Grant High School, Portland.

Grant High School, Portland.

OPB

Portland Public Schools plan to close high school scheduling gaps, under a budget proposal released Friday.

The high school schedule gaps have two causes: a limited budget to hire teachers, and a labor ruling limiting student-loads for teachers.

Earlier this week, the district proposed adding 58 high school teachers, and guaranteeing seven academic classes in the eight-period schedule.

Parents wanted eight academic classes – something the district had said would violate the labor ruling.

Now – in its third new proposal for high schools in recent weeks – the district says it can offer eight classes, in part because officials expect many students won’t want a full load.

Parent and former school board member, Julia Brim-Edwards says this is progress – but worries it might not last.

She said, “We want a long-term framework built so that we don’t have to go back, again and again, as parents, and ask for the most basic thing that you’d expect from a school district - a full day of school.”

The district has appealed the labor ruling, and is discussing workloads in contract talks with the teachers’ union.

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