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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!

Comments

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Yes, things are bad.
I'm a teacher, and I truly believe that my school district is doing everything it can to stretch dollars and save school days, save instruction to students, and save jobs. The fact is, 86% of our budget is money from state income taxes. With all of the job loss in the area, imagine what will happen to the school budget. I obviously didn't start teaching for the money, but when we're talking about losing teachers, larger class sizes (yikes), and cutting school days (cringe), the message is: EDUCATION DOESN'T MATTER in our society. This is a scary reality. There is so much riding on this. I will be out there in Salem with my kids--I hope to see many of you there too. Education is too important. We have to let them know that this is a priority for us and our future.

I am so angry. I am working Monday and can't go. I want to go. Aside from going to the rally, I plan to call my legislators b/c I can do that from Portland. I'm SO tired of this. So very tired. Not that Oregonians are EVER gonna vote for a sales tax, but the system we now have SUCKS. I'm already paying for public kindergarten, for god's sake.

What will it take to convince America that public education is actually useful and actually does cost money and isn't just providing teachers a cushy life. Some problems in this country just go on forever.

Sadly, I think our kids education is one of them. Can Stand organize a call-in day? A blog action day? In conjunction with the rally or separate? Something for those of us who feel strongly but can't be in Salem on the 16th. ARRRGGGHHH.

Please give a listen to today's Think Out Loud.
The Tigard caller and in-studio response were classic, and why I have problems supporting our public schools.
When will the Oregon school management and staff feel the pinch like the rest of the real world? To the extent the rest of the real world does?

I'm so excited about the rally! I just saw an email from the Stand for Children Oregon Executive Director saying that that they have already pre-registered 1500 people! This is our chance to make a huge impact for our kids. Let's all go to Salem!!!!

What a great opportunity to teach our kids the importance of a group of people rallying in order for our voices to be heard. Taking our kids to Salem is invaulable to our schools and an invaluable lesson we can give them. We need to let legislators know how we feel so they can stop making cuts to schools and this is our opportunity!!
See you in Salem!

I'll be there! My husband has gotten involved with Stand for Children, and signed us up. And is trying to get other parents from our school to go! It's a great chance to support our legislators who support education, and a great chance to show our kids how to participate in politics!

(And I've been calling/emailing our senators about the proposed cuts to education funding in the stimulus bill... we'll see...)

It is up to all of us to ensure the proper education of our future leaders. I will be there.

please go if you can. or write, call or email! another teacher here, not PPS, but neighboring district and we are looking at cutting $17 million between now and june. we just keep having grim meetings that detail how the situation has worsened over night. that means lay offs before the year is up and early closure for the school year. 5 days? 10 days? 15 or 20? nobody knows yet but everybody is scared. i've never heard my principal's voice shake so much...

Ever thought about an online K-12 school. Everything is just like a brick and mortar, free tuition, free textbooks and in some states even a computer. Check it out .. it is the wave of the future. www.connectionsacademy.com or www.k12.com

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