Portland Public Schools has decided to close school on May 8 after Portland Association of Teachers, the local teachers union, said that they planned to join a statewide walkout, in a protest over school funding.
"We have a clear indication that the number of teacher absences will exceed our ability to safely open and operate our schools," says Yvonne Curtis, D.Ed.
Deputy Superintendent, Instruction & School Communities, in an email to parents and staff, announcing the decision today.
Portland Association of Teacher leaders said the union plans to join the statewide day of teacher protests
"Portland schools are devastatingly underfunded, and students are suffering because of it." says Suzanne Cohen, president of the Portland Association of Teachers, in a statement. "Our classrooms are bursting at the seams, our buildings are falling apart, and students are missing out on individual attention they deserve. Over the last decade, we've seen loss of individual attention for our students, less arts offerings, and an increase in students who aren't getting their needs met. We've had enough — so we're standing up for students and taking action."
The teachers unions will be lobbying for more school funding and against teachers being required to shoulder more of the pension costs.
Curtis's email said there will be a few exceptions to the closures:
Outdoor School will remain open and uninterrupted the entire week of May 6-10.
Night classes will continue as regularly scheduled on May 8.
Previously scheduled A.P. and I.B. testing will continue as planned on May 8.