Three candidates for Mayor debated which among them would be the best advocate for education, tech and creative communities. April Baer listened in at Pacific Northwest College of Art.
State Representative Jefferson Smith proposed a new way to workshop reforms in public education.
"What new educational models can we do - and not just try to shoehorn them within the current nine-month school year, but experiment with them during summers," Smith said.
Entrepreneur Eileen Brady made a case for herself as the most effective manager for a regional campaign to bolster public school funding.
"What I would do as Mayor is say, "We are going to get everyone in the room who are the stakeholders - just like Mayor Katz did years ago, and say, 'OK how are we going to fix this funding gap?' Everybody's got to give a little here," Brady said.
Candidate Charlie Hales has been dogged this week over his claims of having worked on a deal in 2003 to save school days with city money. On Friday Hales pulled a TV ad involving this claim after an Oregonian reporter debunked it. It didn't come up in the forum, but later Hales characterized it as a mistake.
Hales said, "I've got a whole long list going back to 1993-94 of times when I voted to support grants to the schools. I had been involved in so many of those, I'd confused which one was which, and said I was voting on something when I was really only advocating for it."
Hales says the corrected ad will be back on air soon.