Rally it up in Salem, 02.16.2009
We aren't the only mamas thinking about going to the kids rally down in Salem in a couple of weeks. Several mamas have emailed us to let us know they're interested in supporting this event. One mama emails:
Last night I learned that, based on the most recent economic forecast, Portland Public School District could face shortfalls of $20 for this year and $70 million over the next biennium ($35 million per year). That means $20 million would have to be cut from this school year! To put that number in perspective, consider this: $1 million buys 11.5 teaching jobs and $1.2 million buys one school day in PPS.
Another mama says:
I think we all are passionate about raising happy, healthy children. I was struck by some recent statistics that indicate the poor state of education in Oregon: did you know that Oregon ranks 42nd in the nation for K-12 share of total state spending, 49th in length of school year, 50th in average Elementary class size, and 40th in 4th Grade reading scores?
The most recent e-bulletin from Portland Public School district reads "To be straightforward, the situation is worsening. Despite past cuts and our efforts to manage resources responsibly, we face the likelihood of major budget reductions." There is talk about making cuts to the current school year. BUT, there are funds that could potentially come PPS's way via the federal economic recovery plan, which could fund PPS renovations and programs at Title I schools (where levels of low-income students are high).
The North Clackamas School District alone is looking at a 7% cut for the rest of this year and at 13% cut next year. The cuts translate into an even shorter school year. Programming for arts, music and physical education will fall by the wayside.
The global economy is dire, and funding for our precious resources - public schools - is at risk. What can we do? To start, we can let state legislators know that funding for our schools is crucial. Stand for Children, along with several other organizations, has organized a rally in Salem on Presidents Day. It's a no-school day for kids, and it seems like a great way to bring our kids to our state capital and get involved with our legislation, on the state level. The agenda: to let our legislators know how much we care about schools and services, even in an economic downturn. We know lots of mamas and papas and kids from our neighborhood and schools who are going.
One mama writes:
Quite simply, our kids need us. If we mamas don't speak up for our children, who will? Please log on to www.stand.org/or/rally and register to attend the Presidents Day Rally.
Can you and will you go? Buses are being organized now, just hit the above link for more info! Get on the bus!