NO SCHOOL MAY 8; District Shuts Down For A Day In Effort To Pressure Legislature For Increased Funding

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NO SCHOOL MAY 8; District Shuts Down For A Day In Effort To Pressure Legislature For Increased Funding

Chelsea Hartung, Staff Writer

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Many Oregon school districts are canceling school on May 8 due to teacher walkouts.

Why are the teachers walking out? The teachers hope that this walkout will help increase school funding which could affect salaries, lower class sizes and other much-needed educational upgrades. As May 8 approaches, expect to see many more districts cancel school to participate.

For some Portland schools the school year will be extended by one day; for others this may not happen. Centennial is one of the schools taking part in trying to make a difference.

According to CEA Rep Rob Havrilla, Centennial teachers would like to participate in this walkout.

On the morning of May 8, the teachers will rally outside of the high school, on the sidewalk, on 182nd Avenue, and then will gather downtown where there will be a rally in at the Waterfront.

With schools being closed the hope (is) that we will see students and their families alongside of the teachers, said Havrilla.

Centennial Superintendent Paul Coakley informed the staff of this final decision via email earlier this week.  

A written statement made to Portland Association of Teachers by Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero reads: “Our educators and students deserve better. It is long overdue that we prioritize schools in Oregon.”

Because this district is participating in the walkout, CSD teachers will makeup the missed day on June 17; students will have finals on Friday, June 14, but senior graduation will stay the same.

Many teachers agree with the reasoning behind this walkout.

“I understand that people have different opinions of the effectiveness of walkouts, but I think that the most important part of the walkout is bring attention to the severity of underfunding in our state. It’s through this statewide coordinated walkout that we can bring this attention,” said Edgar Brambila-Perez,  AP Human Geography Teacher.

“Hell yeah I’m participating. This is such a important thing for us teachers. We have to stand together. When we run out of money they expect teachers to pay out of our pockets, and we do. We work past our hours to get the grading and planning done. It’s expected. This walkout needs to happen. This is the attention we need to bring,” said Piroska Balogh, Chemistry Teacher.

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