The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

Classes Resume Following End of Portland Teachers’ Strike

Teachers and Portland Public Schools reach a tentative agreement
Classes+Resume+Following+End+of+Portland+Teachers%E2%80%99+Strike

Monday, Nov. 27, ended 26 days of the Portland Public Schools (PPS) teachers’ strike. Negotiations between the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) and PPS occurred throughout the last few weeks and they ultimately reached a tentative agreement ending the strike. 

PAT has about 3,500 members. During the strike, 45,000 students in the district’s 81 schools stayed home; creating serious child care problems for families across the city and raising questions about the potential negative impacts on students.

While striking, PAT claimed they had discussed issues such as class sizes, additional planning time and improvements to building conditions with PPS. 

District negotiators and the Portland School Board opposed class size caps, because of financial implications and in order to retain the flexibility of keeping smaller classes at high-poverty schools. PAT pushed for pay raises and increased benefits. Additionally, PAT wanted caps on class sizes, along with changes to teachers’ work schedules. 

Prior to resolution, PPS noted a significant gap remaining between the two sides, as the cost of the union’s Nov. 12 proposal was estimated to be about $358 million—around $100 million of which would come from hiring an additional 352 educators.

After the state financial officer reviewed the budget, they found another $12.4 million available for the 2024-2025 school year. PAT also cited the reserve fund, which holds roughly $100 million dollars.

According to Summit social studies teacher Travis Overly, who was a previous president of the Teachers Union, “Public education in the state of Oregon in particular has been drastically underfunded for the past 30 years, and so our students have experienced an education system that has a lack of funding.”

“I think when we finally reach our goal of low class sizes for students, adequate funding for schools and fair pay for teachers, it will be a much better place for the country,” said Overly.

During the negotiation process, the two sides mainly addressed issues such as salary, schedule time and class size. The union negotiated a cumulative 13.8 percent cost-of-living increase over the next three years that will push more than half of Portland Public Schools teachers past the $100,000 annual salary mark by the end of their contracts.

Educators’ planning time will also increase significantly, from 320 minutes per week in elementary schools to 410 minutes. PAT abandoned its demand for a hard cap on class sizes and eventually adopted a soft cap, which would be teachers’ excess pay for each student in a class above the recommended number.

 

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William Huang, Staff Writer

黃雪宸(William) 

If you think William looks like an Asian, you’re probably wrong. Cuz he’s an actual Asian!(not “looks like”) He’s here to learn the culture and the language, so sometimes he acts stupid and strange. When he has free time, there is a great chance to find him in the library (that’s his favorite place). Btw, feed him with steak?

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