PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Thousands of teachers from across the state rallied Wednesday to push for more school funding.

Leaving their classrooms and students for the day in a move the union - the Oregon Education Association - says is part of a push for changes to K through 12 funding from the state.

Many teachers have expressed this is not a fight for better paychecks. Instead, the union says they are fighting to decrease class sizes and improve financial support for services and programs.

"Twenty five years ago I had a class of 18. So, this year, I started the year with 35. I teach 4th grade. And so, 35 years, physically they had a hard time fitting in the room. And then trying to meet all the special needs and all the issues that come up in a classroom were difficult," said Mark McDowall, 4th grade teacher in Hillsboro.

"I'm here because it's important for the future. These students need more funding, more mental health, more access to mental health services. That's what my students struggle with and we don't have the support we need," said Liz Belz-Templeman, teacher at Canby High School.

Educators and their supporters from all over the region gathered at 11 a.m. at Tom McCall Waterfront Park for a rally.

According to the union, at least 25 districts decided to close schools and cancel classes Wednesday because of the number of teachers attending.

The protest and rally also includes a march across Naito Parkway that looped back to the waterfront.

Prior to heading downtown, hundreds of educators and supporters rallied at their own districts. The Beaverton Education Association said they had 300 people turn out at Northwest 173rd and Cornell on Wednesday morning. 

Salem-Keizer Public Schools did not cancel classes Wednesday, but students, teachers and staff were let out early, with thousands of them ending up at Riverfront Park for a rally. 

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(2) comments

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

Sorry, the Lars Larson Oregon Catalyst article was titled "Lars Larson: Oregon is NOT broke! " No editing on this format. And no paragraphing either. Really sucks

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

I wonder if Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) is the classic grandstanding yet complicit Oregon RINO.
He said “ 'I respect and support my caucus members decision to deny quorum in the Senate and call for meaningful PERS reform to ensure education funding makes it to students and is not eaten up by our broken public pension system. HB 3427 has technical issues that must be fixed and needs input and vetting from all parties involved.
It would be an important gesture to get a commitment to send HB 3427 to committee to hear testimony and make technical fixes' said Knopp."
Make "technical fixes" to WHAT?
The business $ale$ tax or PERS?
It would be an "important gesture" toward respect for the taxpayer to ditch this tax!!!
There were Reynolds School District teacher demonstrating for more education funding on my corner here this morning. One lady in the group played dumb about HB 3427 when I asked if that bill was connected to their fight for education funding.
I think I got lied to.
Here's a news flash: education budgets has grown over 40% in just the the last 6 years.
Oregon schools are NOT "broke" any more than the Clinton's were "dead broke" when they left the White House.
Lars Larson put it VERY succinctly when he he said in an Oregon Catalyst article titled
"Any reporter worth his salt would simply ask the school administrators: 'how much was your budget last year and how much this year. How much of a pay increase did you give employees in the last year or two'. Include those numbers in the same story with the soundbite of a six-figure administrator whining about “budget shortfalls” and the story has a whole new complexion.

Unfortunately, few reporters will do that because it doesn’t appear correctly sympathetic to education. It’s sympathetic to the taxpayers.
Who cares about them?"

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