Important Update to Our Community
An Important Update to Our Community
We maintain four guiding principles in our negotiations:
- fiscal sustainability
- protecting students’ instructional time and educational programming
- enhancing student supports (mental & behavioral supports)
- addressing the priorities raised by PAT – especially workload relief
Today we made a full package proposal to PAT that makes $147 million* in student-centered investments, an increase over our previous offers. Given that our State School funding only provided enough to maintain current service levels, these additional investments will require cuts in other PPS programs and services. We are also simultaneously bargaining with three other labor partners, and we want the community to be fully informed about what is on the table.
With direction from our school board, we have offered a total package that:
- Pays Our Educators Well ($129.5 million): All educators will see their salary increase by 10.9% to cover cost of living, and roughly half will get an additional 10.6% increase from yearly step increases that reward continuity. Because educators at the top of the salary scale no longer receive these yearly steps, all educators at the top of the salary scale will also get a 1.5% bonus. All other educators will get a 0.5% bonus. We will also have the highest starting salary of the metro area’s largest districts. In addition, we have proposed a new $3,000 per year special education stipend to help recruit and retain special educators.
Reduces Educator Workload ($11.8 million): A 90-minute increase in weekly planning time for all K-8 educators and additional teacher planning days. More specialists like arts and physical education educators will be hired to create additional time for educators to prepare purposeful lessons. These hires will also expand elective opportunities for students.
- Reduces the Highest Elementary Class Sizes ($2.4 million): Although our equity staffing formula increases staffing at Title 1 schools, we have proposed to further drop the staffing ratio for next year by one student at all Title 1 elementary classes. We will also lower the staffing ratio by one student for every elementary class where the staffing ratio is currently 30 or more. This will redistribute educators and we expect this will lower some larger class sizes.
Increases Mental and Behavioral Health Supports ($1.5 million): We propose tripling the district’s Student Mental Health/Rapid Response Team to support students’ mental and behavioral health across all schools, and to support schools with their campus-level climate and behavior plans. This is in addition to our approximately $50 million of investments in social workers, counselors, school psychologists, and other mental health professionals.
We believe this is a significant offer, and it is not without trade offs. Absent any new revenue, budget cuts will be unavoidable and we will need to implement significant cost-saving measures. As we pledged to the community in January, we are committed to identifying efficiencies and cuts at the central office, but these reductions will impact our school communities as well. We will do our best to preserve and prioritize direct student services and supports, however it will not be possible to avoid cuts to many areas that affect school communities.
We want to express our collective gratitude to our families for your patience and grace, as we work to arrive at a fair settlement with the teachers’ union. Our sincere hope is that we get our students back to school as soon as possible.
Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero
Members of the School Board
PPS Bargaining Team
*This is the complete package total. It includes expenses not described on this page, but included in the full package.
- The Oregonian’s independent analysis comparing the union and district proposals
- Read proposals
- The Oregonian's editorial, arguing that, "PPS’ budget cannot reasonably accommodate what the Portland Association of Teachers is asking for and walking out won’t magically generate the additional $200 million needed for the district to meet the union’s demands."
- Opinion pieces by our school board and PAT's president