PPS Cuts Jobs At Central Office As Key Leaders Resign

By Rob Manning (OPB)
Portland, Oregon April 24, 2018 12:10 a.m.
Portland Public Schools administration building

Portland Public Schools administration building

Rob Manning / OPB

Portland Public Schools intends to cut 35 positions from its central office staff, as part of a re-organization plan announced Monday by Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero.


The district says there are other open positions that are also being eliminated.

The announcement coincides with two other high-profile resignations, confirmed Monday.


Jerry Vincent, who has been chief operating officer since 2017, has submitted his resignation. Vincent has extensive experience with school construction projects, including supervision of the recently-completed rebuilds of Roosevelt and Franklin high schools, and the Grant High School rebuild, currently underway.

Chief Strategic Officer Laura Parker is also resigning from her position supervising the district’s data-heavy system planning and performance office. Parker has been involved in the roll-out of complicated initiatives like last year's aborted plan to break up the ACCESS Academy for gifted students.

Among the positions being eliminated is senior director of equity and partnerships, currently held by Jeanine Fukuda. In an email to OPB, Director of Strategic Communications and Outreach Harry Esteve said "the superintendent views his role as chief equity officer for the district."

One of the highest-profile people at the district, spokesman Dave Northfield, is also seeing his job eliminated, effective June 30, as the district communications' office is being restructured.

"Dave’s focus will shift from external communications," and toward support for senior leadership, Esteve said by email.

In a statement, Guerrero pointed to "inadequate resources available" for Oregon's public schools as reasons for the cuts. He also said the district needs to focus spending on "core services to students."

The central office cuts come as the district intends a net increase of 21 positions at its schools. Portland also has to fund pay raises for teachers in the contract it settled earlier this year.