Two years ago in Oregon, the Portland Public Schools School Board made a difficult decision in the face of budget shortfall. In order to make it all work, they voted to cut high school teaching positions, therefore causing schools to decrease instructional time for grades 9-12. This year, the district’s budget is up for discussion again, but this time, parents are standing up, demanding that the foundation of their children’s education — instructional time – be increased.

The Portland Parents Coalition formed shortly after Superintendent Carole Smith released her budget on April 15. The coalition delivered a letter to the superintendent last week asking for 58 classroom teachers to be added back to the district in order to provide a full school day for all students. The superintendent heard their call and took the request to the school board on Monday night.

The parents are hoping for change before next school year, and while there is much still be worked out, we applaud the parents for standing up. Quality instructional time is critical for student success – it cannot be on the chopping block.

Two Portland Tribune articles provide more background information: Check them out here and here.

Are parents getting involved in your school district? What role do you believe parents can play in the ELT movement?