Portland Public Schools' board member Paul Anthony is opting not to run for reelection.
He's the third of four board member to opt against running for reelection in June.
Anthony cited the long hours that he's devoted to the volunteer post in explaining his decision.
"I have sadly and reluctantly concluded that I cannot stand for reelection this year," says Anthony in a statement. "Working on the business of the Board and District during these difficult times has regularly taken 80 hours a week, a pace that is simply not sustainable for a volunteer position."
Mike Rosen and Julia Esparza Brown have opted out. Amy Kohnstamm is running for reelection. Three candidates have already filed to replace Anthony.
The last three years have seen the departure of the long-time superintendent Carole Smith and the passage of a $790 million bond, the state's largest school bond in history.
Anthony issued a statement on his accomplishments:
It has been an honor, privilege, and joy to serve the children in Portland Public Schools over these last four years as the Board Member from Zone 2. I have sadly and reluctantly concluded that I cannot stand for reelection this year. Working on the business of the Board and District during these difficult times has regularly taken 80 hours a week, a pace that is simply not sustainable for a volunteer position.
As I look back, I can point to several significant, lasting accomplishments:
I championed the introduction of sustained, systematized Trauma Informed Care to the District, making PPS an early adopter of trauma informed practices in Oregon. We know that unaddressed childhood trauma impacts many thousands of Portland's children, and that trauma informed practices are our best hope to keep those children engaged in school and prepared for healthy, productive lives.
I brought greater transparency and awareness to the grotesque programming inequities between many of our schools. That effort created a mandate to open our three new middle schools.
I championed the policy changes necessary for the opening of the Benson Tech Wellness Center in partnership with OHSU, which now provides physical and mental healthcare to students at Benson Tech, PPS's summer and night schools, and all of the District's West Side schools.
I championed the changes necessary to find a new medical provider for the Health Clinic at Grant High School.
I developed the website and app for the District's forthcoming student crisis management resource, giving our students access to community resources for suicide prevention, trauma intervention, housing and food insecurity crises, alcohol and chemical addiction, domestic violence, and other issues.
I championed the corporate partnership for the District's K-12 financial literacy curriculum, which will be introduced next year.
I championed the corporate partnership for student-run credit unions in our high schools, which the District will begin to roll out next year.
It has also been a great pleasure to represent the Board on the District's Health and Welfare Trust, which provides health insurance and other benefits to our teachers, paraeducators, librarians, and many of our other represented employees. The Trust Board is a model for effective, productive cooperation between labor and management.
When I first ran for the Board, I called for better management, effective leadership, budget transparency, and a focus on the needs of our children rather than the needs of the bureaucracy. Obviously, much more needs to be done, but I believe Portland Public Schools has made significant progress on all of those issues.
I look forward to continuing to work on school and children's issues in Portland, particularly addressing the District's inequitable program offerings and the need for a pediatric dental clinic for the District.