Something I'd Like to Vote For

Chris Bouneff

Dear Portland Public Schools –

You want me, a liberal, to support your bond measure. Here’s a tip. Send my kid home at the start of the year with an actual math book. Thanks to your ineptitude or some other factor, my kid has math homework tonight. But he can’t do it. Because you couldn’t manage to get him a textbook. And the website where he could get the math problems isn’t functioning tonight. So, we’re stuck.

You want me to care about some nearly $500 million bond where I’m going to pay more on my property taxes despite having a stagnant income for the past five-plus years? Try simply doing the basics you should do. I’d support you if you could manage that.

I recognize I’m not the vote you’re after. You’re after liberals who more enthusiastically vote for public education to push you past small margin you're after. But maybe you can make it easier on liberals who have a discerning vote? I’d like that. I don’t like voting against school stuff. But so far, you’ve earned my no vote.

Best wishes,


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      Yes, Chris, if you can, please follow up with what caused this problem. I'm interested and maybe others are too.

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      If it's the new Oregon Curriculum for middle school, it's probably the website. As it is, cost of textbooks in various districts are such that we have classroom sets only, not textbooks. That's all the district can afford to buy.

      You want actual individual math books? The district needs more money to buy them and replace due to student damage over the years. Either that or charge textbook fees even in middle and elementary schools. And don't anticipate making copies of the textbook...trends these days are more toward eliminating copiers in schools and going to centralized district print shops.

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        And don't anticipate making copies of the textbook

        Well, that's a surefire way to get sued, too. Textbook companies have gotten very aggressive about that over the last decade.

        Lots of college professors used to do "readers" - 150 page xerox packs - to cut down on textbook costs, but they're now forced to get reprint rights before they do that.

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          Yep, and a photocopy of the text is usually a followup request.

          Still, that's why schools resort to online text access--limited funds to purchase more than classroom sets of textbooks, so they'll go for the text that provides online support/textbook online. It can be a good solution, especially for students with disabilities. But it depends upon a reliable server at the text end.

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      While indeed, bond is completely separate from operating expenses, I believe Chris's was speaking to the level of competency or lack there of that the folks at BESC do the even the simplest tasks correctly.

      If they can't do the basics right, how can we expect Carole and team to manage close to a half billion dollars?

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        Again, this is a fact-finding question. Is it a systemic problem at the district? Is it an oversight by the teacher? Or is it, and I'm assuming Chris confirmed that's it's not, a case of a kid leaving the book at school and not wanting to tell his dad?

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      Seriously, it's not gonna matter if Chris's kid got a nice textbook if there's a quake that brings the aging building the kid goes to comes down on his or her head.

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      Yup. Ronald Reagan told us that government can't solve problems, and then proceeded to prove exactly that.

      And it's his acolytes that have run amok in our democracy.

      They work hard to make government underfunded and broken - and then they point to its failures for why we shouldn't fund it further. A downward spiral.

      It's up to us to recognize it, and help pull up out of the spiral - not succumb to it.

      (While recognizing full well that incompetence and stupidity happens. We are all human.)

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    I'm not thrilled about Measure 80, but it will provide a much needed funding source for education, and hopefully a reduction in the resources spent on Prohibition can be redirected to education as well as Healthcare.

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      Really, Jenifer? You're "not thrilled" about Measure 80?

      C'mon. All you've been doing here on BlueOregon is pushing marijuana legalization.

      Ain't nothing wrong with that, but let's not try and pretend that you're some conflicted soul on the issue.

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        Ah, but remember, there are a lot of camps in the cannabis movement...Measure 80, commonly known as OCTA, derailed the Measure 74 campain for Safe Access, as well as the I 24 campaign before it. I have always considered it a Red Herring designed to keep real reform from happening - and very effective at it too. Not to mention the Commission that give out licenses will likely not be freindly to me...The hippies aren't sure how to cope with a punk-rock girl who is not afraid to play hardball. It freaks 'em out. They find me unpredictable and aggressive. But OCTA is what we have to work with, and drug policy effects every other aspect of policy, for the ewe, in for the lamb.

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