Parents protest Portland Public Schools superintendent's retirem - KPTV - FOX 12

Parents protest Portland Public Schools superintendent's retirement announcement

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Some parents marched to Portland Public School District offices to protest Superintendent Carole Smith’s plans to retire after the next school year.

Cecile Evans a parent said, “Why would we give her another year to mess things up, that doesn’t make any logical sense.”

Evans said her criticism stems off how the district handled environmental issues in May.

PPS reported elevated levels of lead were found in the drinking in two schools: Creston Elementary and Rose City Park schools. Fox 12 found tests dated back in 2012 showed lead at 47 schools, but the results were not made public until recently.

Evans said her son graduated from Creston Elementary and would have been enrolled during the time lead was found at the school.

School board member Steve Buel said, “it looks like disorganization, but in actuality, what’s happening is we’re beginning to deal with problems we haven’t dealt with for years."

In a letter, Superintendent Smith said since she started her career in 2007, the district has focused on increasing graduation rates, upgraded schools and added new arts programs. However, due to state budget constraints for schools, some priorities took precedence over others.  

“At PPS the focus of the community, board and district has been on maintaining teachers in our classrooms and providing a full school year to our students, which not every district has been able to accomplish. Unfortunately, the unintended consequence of these successes for our students has meant a corresponding under-investment in facilities maintenance and business infrastructure.”

Some parents who protested said they will continue to fight until Smith is removed from office.

“We need leaders who will step in and lead and as for accountability from their entire staff especially when it comes to the basics,” parent Jennifer Fullilove said.

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