School districts around Oregon are slashing their budgets after Governor Kulongoski ordered nine percent cuts across the board for this coming academic year. Districts made cuts before the decree was final: Tillamook laid off custodians, music and PE teachers, Tigard got rid of library assistants (who had taken on extra duties when PE was cut back), Klamath Falls began to discuss a four day week, and Wilsonville planned teacher cuts across the board.
Now Portland Public Schools is considering laying off ten percent of high school teachers and 25 central office administrators. It’s facing a campaign with big backers for its proposal to end physical education for elementary and middle school students.
Hillsboro asked community members for feedback, with this plea:
Please know that the identified potential reductions are a result of many, many hours of investigation, discussion, deep thought and analysis. Every effort was made to take a balanced approach to the cuts and reduce the impact to staff, students and programs as much as possible. We continue to value the support and collaboration of all patrons as we work through this difficult process.
How do different communities choose what to cut and what to keep? What do you value most in your school? What are you willing to eliminate?
- Drew Mahalic: Executive Director of the Oregon Sports Authority and a member of the Save PE Coalition
- David Wynde: Chair of the Portland School Board’s Finance Committee and a vice president and manager of community relations for US Bank in Portland
- Brenna Burke: Parent of a student at Sunset Elementary School, and a board member of a parent group in support of the school’s Spanish immersion program
- Randy Schild: Superintendent of Tillamook School District