The district said Wednesday night that it’s looking to community organizations for help on how to deal with childcare needs if teachers strike.
“We know that Portland Parks and Recreation has a variety of programs and activities that families can participate in at a discounted rate with their access pass as well,” said Dr. Renard Adams with Portland Public Schools.
The district says it would offer grab-and-go meals for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Thursday and that varsity sports would continue, but other extracurricular activities such as clubs and arts program, would be rescheduled.
As far as the school year being extended, the decision depends on a number of factors, including the length of the strike and state requirements.
Both sides say they are working on the next bargaining session. If things don’t go well, teachers could hit the picket lines at the end of the month or early November.
“We hope to arrive at a fair contract with the Portland Association of Teachers, one that honors the work of our educators, focuses on student success and keeps our schools open,” said PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero.
One question asked Wednesday was about the district’s adopted budget, which shows the general reserve at more than $90 million.
“With one-time money, which is really helpful to have, you really have to be careful about only spending it in sustainable ways,” said Myong Leigh, the interim deputy superintendent of operations with PPS.
Another question that was asked was if class sizes cannot be capped, why is PPS unable to hire more teachers?
“It is challenging to hire additional teachers when we don’t have the additional funding that is driven by additional students,” Adams said.
The teacher’s union is expected to announce it will authorize a strike this Friday.
If approved, they would have to provide the PPS with a 10-day notice.
PPS says it will update its website with other resources for families.