Board of Education approves partial furlough for PPS staff through end of July5/6/2020
Portland Public Schools is moving to a four-day work week through the end of July in response to anticipated revenue shortfalls in the upcoming school year. The district and other entities that receive state funding are expected to face a significant drop in revenue because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The partial furlough plan, which was approved by the Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday, is intended to curb costs immediately and will allow the district to reduce negative budgetary impacts on staffing and instructional days for the 2020-21 school year, while having minimal to no negative financial impact on most employees now. PPS employees who are part of the partial furlough and whose work hours will decrease by 20%, will be eligible to participate in the Work Share Oregon program, which combines state unemployment and federal CARES funding. By participating in the program, employees should not see their total compensation fall.
The partial furlough plan has the support of the district’s labor unions, including the Portland Association of Teachers, whose members voted in favor of it on Tuesday. It is expected that the plan will translate into at least $10 million in potential offsets to budget cuts in 2020-21.
The district, including PPS-HD, the district’s home-based distance learning program, will operate on a Monday-Thursday schedule, starting this week.
In addition, the Board of Education voted to add three inclement weather days, June 8, 9, and 10, for school instruction to the school calendar, which results in a net-loss of only two instructional days for the current school year.
The district’s student meal service, through which breakfast and lunch are distributed at 15 PPS campuses, will also switch to a Monday-Thursday schedule. Thursday’s distribution will include enough food to cover meals Thursday-Sunday.
Under an executive order from Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon schools have been closed for in-person classes since March 16. On April 8, the governor ordered the end of in-person classes for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.