PPS students threaten walk out over bond measure decision


Instead of this November, the city's largest-ever bond measure will be on the ballot next spring, but several Portland Public Schools students are upset about it saying it puts a hold on when they can see much-needed improvements at their campuses.

On Tuesday night, angry students stormed out of a school board meeting after board members cast a 4-to-3 vote, which kept the bond measure on the May ballot.

Students want it on the November ballot and say they will sit out of class to show how upset they really are.

"Midway through first period at nine o'clock we will walk out and not return to school until our demands for a meeting on Thursday morning are met," said Michael Ioffe.

Students host 'sit in' to push @PPSConnect bond for November 2016 @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/MhYaw2oKlU— Amber Diaz (@AmberDiazFOX12) September 7, 2016

Ioffe says asbestos concerns and lead in the water are just a few of the big problems that he and his classmates want taken care with a proposed bond measure.

"Lincoln students eat lunch in the hallways and we bring folding chairs and sit outside our locker and that's the way we've coped in having a small building."

Ioffe says because presidential elections are in a few short months, voter turnout rates will be higher, concerns about the schools are heightened, and he thinks the bond stands a good chance of passing this fall instead of next year.

"It is simply the right thing to do, and it is all in your hands."

But board members argued a May ballot makes more sense. They say they will have more time to create a better plan to fix the problems and spread the word to voters.

"I don't feel like we as a district right now are stable enough to be going out to our community and asking you to trust us," said one board member.

During the meeting, the student leader told the board the clock is ticking and pushed for the board to change their course of action and listen to public concerns.

In the end, the 25 to 30 students at the meeting didn't get the result they wanted.

If the school board doesn't hold another meeting on Thursday, students from Madison, Lincoln and Benson High say they won't return to school.

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