Kotek, Oregonian, Chamber all oppose teacher strike

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

Portland Public school are set for a strike November 1st.

Kotek said at a press conference, “My message right now to … Portland Association of Teachers is that you need to stay at the table and we need to figure this out,”

The Oregonian Editorial Board said, “the union should commit to staying at the negotiating table and keeping teachers in the classroom. There will be no winners in a strike, and students would once again suffer the biggest losses.A strike won’t help teachers. PPS’ budget cannot reasonably accommodate what the Portland Association of Teachers is asking for and walking out won’t magically generate the additional $200 million needed for the district to meet the union’s demands. Forcing the district to accept unsustainable terms now will likely translate into layoffs and pain in the not-so-distant future.”

The Portland Metro Chamber said, “We write today to implore upon you to stay at the bargaining table to reach a new bargaining agreement without the disruption and long-term damage a strike will cause our children, our most vulnerable families, our economy, and our already greatly damaged reputation.Oregon was one of the first states in the nation to implement pandemic restrictions, and was one of the last states to end restrictions. This included being one of the last states in the nation to bring back full in person public school instruction. Our city is still in an extremely precarious position.Over the past two years, we have seen measurable population decline, and we are faced with innumerable crises impacting our livability and competitiveness. Our economy has been fueled for decades by a well-educated workforce, but we are presently experiencing student outcomes far below what our families and employers depend on. PPS has also experienced a significant enrollment decline of about 4,300 students. It is notable that while enrollment has seen a significant decline, the district has spent reserves to avoid cuts, and according to the district has added over 170 teachers reducing class sizes.We know that our nation-leading closure of our schools did incalculable damage to our kids academic success, as demonstrated by the latest data. The first strike in the history of PPS on the heels of such a significant absence from the classroom, will set our most vulnerable students back again, just as they are beginning to recover from the historic loss of in person instruction.” 

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