• Superintendent Guerrero: Historic step forward for K-12 funding

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     Gov. Kate Brown at bill signing

    Gov. Kate Brown at a bill signing ceremony at Washington Elementary School in Salem. (Photo courtesy Julia Brim-Edwards)

    Dear PPS Community,

    It is with a sense of optimism and encouragement that I am sharing with you news about something I believe will have a lasting impact on the future of our school system and our ability to better serve our students. The Oregon Legislature has approved, and Gov. Kate Brown has signed, the Student Success Act, an investment package projected to provide public schools throughout the state with approximately $1 billion a year in additional funding.

    This is a huge and historic win for public education in general and for Portland Public Schools in particular. Our work begins now to lay out a plan for how we will use our share of the additional funds, starting in the 2020-21 school year, in ways that will improve the educational experience for all of our diverse learners.

    As many of you know, we have for the past six months been developing a new and comprehensive vision for PPS with a goal of ensuring our graduates are prepared to thrive in a fast-changing and increasingly complex global society. Through this process, which has included input from thousands of our students, families, educators, community members and many, many others, we have begun to dream big about our future and the future of our students. With this new level of funding from the state, I am more than encouraged we can soon start turning those dreams into reality.

    Imagine being able to provide in-depth services to students before they even enter kindergarten, preparing them for their next 12 years of academic achievement. Imagine those preschoolers moving through the grades while getting the right level of supports to match their learning styles and abilities. Imagine our students having access to full visual and performing arts education pathways, to career and technical education courses, modern technology tools, a robust, up-to-date curriculum and high quality classroom materials, and a fuller range of academic and behavioral supports available to our students.

    This is the transformative direction we want to take our schools, and the action by our lawmakers to end decades of disinvestment in K-12 is an important step forward. Please join me in thanking all of those who both advocated for and worked on this bill and ensured its passage. Few decisions can be called truly historic. The Student Success Act is one of them.
    Guadalupe Guerrero