When I saw The Oregonian this morning, I was a little more than irritated."Portland board approves lease for Pearl District satellite school in split vote." I rolled my eyes and stomped off to my office.
Just the hour before on OPB's Morning Edition, I heard that Portland Public Schools might close early, teachers may go unpaid while other staff collects regular checks, and kids worried that budget cuts would cancel some of their favorite elective classes. These kids have already missed a chunk of time from Snowpocalypse and now we want to snatch up eight days from them.
Throughout this town, we let kids enter lotteries so their kids can go to schools considered better than the ones their neighborhoods offer, therefore limiting funds to those schools that children would have otherwise brought in to share. We watch as elementary schools close and cram K through 5's into already crowded middle schools under the guise of that being better for all the kids involved. And now, the Pearl residents don't want their little ones to cram into one of the best elementary schools in town - Chapman - so PPS will build a satellite school to accomdate them.
My conclusion is that kids who may attend this new Pearl school will have parents that can fundraise to sustain it's needs so PPS will front the money to build it. The rest of the schools who don't have that parent power, guess what? You are on your own.
I don't have any children, but I do have a dog in this fight. How do we expect the next generation to continue to grow and improve our state if we can't educate them? How do we entice people to move here if we can't educate their children? What are we saying to people of color and low income folks - those who predominately attend schools that get left behind - when we'll build a school in the Pearl but not hear their pleas to fix closed schools that are now suffering overwhelming blight?
There is a school board election coming soon. Please pay attention, even if you don't have a kid.