PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As the Portland Public School district works to relocate Harriet Tubman Middle School, the district announced they will not replace any existing schools in the neighborhood.
This comes as parents rallied to stop the school from relocating to Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary two weeks ago.
Parents are relieved as the school has served Albina families for more than 50 years, and have a passion for preserving historically Black schools.
“We needed to be really clear that this is going to be a healing process, and that the community’s gonna be very much part of our discussion and the decision making as we move ahead,” PPS Board of Education member Julia Brim-Edwards said.
It is not clear when and where Harriet Tubman Middle School will be rebuilt, but on Monday, PPS leaders announced they’ve crossed a few spots off the list.
“We wanted to share that we were not going to displace any of the elementary schools that would be feeding Harriet Tubman Middle School as we rebuilt it,” Brim-Edwards said.
Now, many parents in the Albina neighborhood are letting out a sigh of relief, namely those with students at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary.
Their PTA has been outspoken about protecting the historic school — rallying families to march and speak out about the issue.
“It just feels like them trying to take our home away,” PTA President Tiffany Robinson said during a march two weeks ago.
Earlier this week, Governor Kate Brown announced she’s asking Oregon lawmakers to approve giving $120 million to relocate Harriet Tubman Middle School.
“I think it is important that the state make this investment, it begins the conversation about how we repair the harms of the past and begin to right historic wrongs,” Brown said.
“I want Harriet Tubman school communities to know that we’re committed to working with them,” Brim-Edwards noted.
Brim-Edwards told KOIN 6 News she’s thankful for the governor’s support and is hopeful lawmakers will support it.
“We’re determined to work with our legislative partners and get it over the finish line. It’s the right thing to do,” Brim-Edwards explained.
There’s a meeting on Thursday to discuss a variety of relocation sites.