Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Portland School District, Zone 5

Term: 4 yearsSalary: UnpaidThe School Board is the policy-making body of the school district. It is responsible for providing an education program for students living within the District. To accomplish its role, the Board: Determines the long-range direction of the District Establishes policies that direct the instructional and support programs Employs and evaluates the Superintendent Communicates with the community Negotiates with employee groups to determine salaries and benefits Calls elections on bond proposals Approves the annual budget
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Traci Flitcraft (N) Senior Business Analyst

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    Virginia La Forte (N) Account Supervisor, The Marketing Arm

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    Scott Bailey (N) Economist

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

Significant policy changes in public education are being considered at the federal and state level. Describe a change that you agree or disagree with and explain your position.

What do you think are the top three equity issues in the district and how will you address them?

What principles will you apply to evaluating recommendations from the superintendent with regard to which programs to reduce in a time of constrained funding?

Campaign Phone: (503) 913-5605
Campaign Website: http://flitcraft4portland.org
Allowing students to choose schools or use the voucher program creates huge inequities. Students from wealthier families are the only students who benefit from this system and we can't allow it in Portland. All students should be valued and prioritized. We need to create a system that gives all students within PPS, regardless of their class, ZIP code, race, gender or citizenship, the same opportunity to succeed.
Financial differences, race/minority and gender inequities are issues that that PPS face. I can address these issues as an unbiased community member without ties to a particular school. Parents within this position can often fight for what's best for their child, allowing other students to fall through the cracks. I can be a voice to fight for equity across the district while keeping the community in mind.
There are questions that need to be asked with any recommendation in order to understand if it is in the best interest of PPS and the community. Those questions are: - Will the recommendation fairly benefit one group of students more than another? - Is this recommendation being driven by a special interest? - Is the recommendation what's best for PPS and Portland as a whole? - What are the risks of this recommendations? - How can we prevent additional risk or concerns?
Campaign Phone: (503) 206-9580
Campaign Website: http://virginiaforschools.com
Qualifications: 20+ years professional experience in strategic planning, budget oversight and creative development; 2017 PPS Bond Stakeholder Advisory Group; Oregon Department of Education Work Group to improve district complaint process; PPS TAG Advisory Council
I'm opposed to the slashing of the federal Education Department budget which targets the elimination and reduction of programs that benefit PPS’s most at-risk students including Title II funding, literacy programs and after school academic programs. Combined with our significant state budget shortfall, proposed federal cuts are even more alarming. They disproportionately affect low-income students and children of color harming PPS's important racial equity work.
Continued reduction in the use of exclusionary discipline though restorative justice, which teaches shared accountability to both students and teachers; Develop a culturally responsive learning environment with continued investment in staff equity training, community partnerships and the development + implementation of the Ethnic Studies resolution adopted by school board in May 2016; Investment in K-3 literacy programs to move students from “learning to read” to “reading to learn."
Develop a clear PPS educational vision with the policy to back it up, ensuring proper prioritization of funds; Implement a proven accountability system with metrics for success and staff input (identified as the key PPS weakness in the 2016 Stoll Berne report); Use vision, policy and accountability feedback to guide preservation of teaching positions and curriculum that supports our educational vision and racial equity work; Guarantee investment in a long-term maintenance plan for our schools.
Campaign Phone: (971) 219-7727
Qualifications: Almost 20 years of school activism. In-depth knowledge of PPS. Proven leadership in parent involvement, school funding, curriculum adoption, 2012 & 2017 Bond, Jefferson Critical Friends, SACET, DBRAC, principal hiring policy, career & technical ed
I totally oppose the idea of diverting federal funds to voucher programs. Research clearly shows that on average charters and private schools do no better and sometimes worse than public schools. School choice leads to schools that are more highly segregated by race and income, which leads to worse outcomes for low-income students and students of color. That’s why I worked to end PPS neighborhood school lottery transfers. I will fight any voucher proposal at the national, state or local level.
Low graduation rates for students of color: bring equity work down to the school and classroom level, identify master equity teachers, continue to implement PBIS. Inequities in middle grade education: finish the work of DBRAC and stick to the timeline for reopening middle schools on the east side. ELL: adopt best practices for English-language learners, expand DLI. Special ed: implement a well-planned inclusion program. ADA: adopt a plan for complying with disability rights. I know that’s 5.
We should continue to implement zero-based budgeting to identify areas of over- and under-spending in the central office. We should ask, what initiatives are essential for improving equity? What programs are essential for improving the quality of education? How do we balance that against class size? What programs, like career and technical education, do we want to sustain for the long run? Where do short-run cuts lead to bigger long-terms costs? Which spending helps us leverage outside funding?

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