Portland Public Schools has referred renewal of a levy that currently funds teaching positions across the district for voters’ consideration on the November 5, 2019 ballot. Approximately one in three Portland Public Schools teaching positions is funded by the current levy.
At Roseway Heights, the levy funded 8 teaching positions in the 2018-19 school year. Over the past five years, the levy funded an average of 825 teaching positions annually throughout the district. If the levy is renewed, that average is estimated to be maintained.
If renewed, the levy is estimated to produce $99.9 million for Portland Public Schools in school year 2020-2021 and would fund teaching positions and classroom supports, such as Special Education services, at every school in the district.
These teachers would:
Represent approximately one-third of all teaching positions in Portland Public Schools.
Teach core classes, as well as enrichments for elementary and middle grades, such as library services and physical education, and electives in varied interest areas and disciplines for high school students.
Teach career and technical programs and STEM programs, including computer science education, and college and career readiness skills.
Provide specialized academic support for students, such as additional instruction in areas such as reading and math.
The proposed levy would not be a new tax. It would be a renewal of the current levy, first approved by voters in 2011 and renewed in 2014. Currently, homeowners pay $1.99 per $1,000 of assessed home value for the levy. If approved by voters, homeowners would continue to pay the same rate for an additional five years.
If passed, this local option would require independent citizen oversight so that tax dollars would be used for purposes approved by local voters. Funds would be placed in a sub-account to facilitate oversight and accurate reporting. No funds from this local option levy would be used for district administration.
If the levy is not approved in 2019, the levy rate would not be renewed and Portland Public Schools would not receive an estimated $99.9 million in tax revenue in school year 2020-21, which may result in the loss of funding for up to 825 teaching positions.
This school district is funded through state, local and federal dollars. While the Oregon Legislature did increase funding for school districts, there is still a difference between what the state funds for K-12 education and what is budgeted for Portland Public Schools to fund the staff and services currently serving all students. If approved by voters, the proposed levy would provide funds for the difference in the budget.
Ballots are due by Tuesday, November 5 at 8pm. If you plan to return your ballot by mail, one first-class stamp is necessary. According to the Multnomah County Elections Division, October 31 is the last day for voters to safely mail ballots. You can also drop your ballot at an official drop box. Ballots delivered to an official drop box never require postage. Visit multco.us/dropsites to find an official drop box.
However you choose to vote, I encourage you to vote in this election and in every election.
Yesterday was our teacher's first day back and we are gearing up for the new school year with a lot of new and exciting changes. Here are a few reminders and updates.
If you’re the parent or guardian of a high school student, you surely know what’s coming next week: final exams. It can be a stressful time for students, but there are ways you can help. Here are some tips on ways to assist your student during finals week, courtesy of Portland Public Schools’ Student Success and Health Department:
Students and staff, packed in a high school gym, cheer wildly as Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard enters the building – that is probably the prevailing image of Lillard’s RESPECT program on local news. But if you look closer at the details, you’ll see just how much the program means to the two PPS high schools that are partners in it.
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM Theatre Showcase Part 1
6:00 PM District Board Meeting
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM PTA General Meeting
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM RHMS Music Performance (Snow Day Make-Up If Necessary)
9:20 AM - 2:30 PM Theatre Field Trip
11:45 AM - 1:45 PM Character Traits Reward Luncheon
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM Reward Activity
6:00 PM District Board Meeting
9:15 AM - 10:00 AM Honor Roll Breakfast
3:15 PM - 3:45 PM 8th Grade Flex Friday
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM Equity Learning Community