Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Portland School District, Zone 6

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
  • Candidate picture

    Zach Babb (N) Software Engineer

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    Ed Bos (N) Nonprofit Executive

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    Julia Brim-Edwards (N) Nike, Senior Director - operations, world headquarters, public engagement; Parent Volunteer

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    David Morrison (N) Health Advocate - Rare Bookseller

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    Joseph L Simonis (N) Freelance Scientist, Editor, Educator, Small Business Owner

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: (312) 636-7056
Campaign Email:
Campaign Website:
Qualifications: An unbridled passion for creating and delivering the best education system in the nation right here in Portland.
In his address to congress, president Trump talked about his desire to create a $20 billion school voucher program. I am against the creation of school vouchers at the federal level, and am against their creation here in Oregon. The data from voucher programs that extend beyond meeting IDEA requirements, most notably in Louisiana and Michigan, is discouraging. I believe that we can create the highest level of education standards without voucherization here in Portland.
First our education system is critically underfunded. The largest inequity we have is that the current generation of tax payers short-changing our young people. Second is the establishment of K-8 schools. We need to ensure that our K-5 cohort and 6-8 cohort are attending schools that can meet their needs. Third there is a lack of transparency in the awards of contracts to third party vendors that has enabled an ongoing inequity in budget allocation.
It all starts with the strategic vision of Portland Public Schools. I believe this vision needs to be updated and modernized. I would work with the superintendent, the community, and the rest of the school board to create a vision that will establish what the future of PPS looks like. Once that vision is in place, it will provide the principles through which to evaluate recommendations. I will advocate for a vision that drives for the best instruction possible to prepare Portland's future.
Campaign Address: 1542 NE 77th Ave
Campaign Phone: (203) 558-6614
Campaign Email:
Campaign Website:
Qualifications: Organizational management, leadership at the tactical and strategic levels, experience community building and communicating with stakeholders in a variety of settings. Public school graduate and proponent.
There is much talk about investing in vouchers for alternatives to public schools. There is little acknowledgement that this is a direct divestment from public schools. With increasing costs, aging infrastructure, and rapidly changing pedagogy, we cannot afford to divert these resources from the public schools that our system of civilization promises to all citizens.
1) Achievement outcomes associated with racial & socioeconomic demographics, 2) appropriate resources and opportunities for students with special needs, & 3) the recent proposal from President Trump for instituting widespread school vouchers. To address these I will endeavor to work with the administration and community to A) continue the ongoing work under the PPS racial equity plan, B) identify where shortfalls under the current plan are and work with a team to fix them, and C) fight vouchers.
The principles I will apply in considering how resources (such as funding) are allocated include: 1) Stakeholder Engagement: seeking to understand the perspectives of parents, students, teachers, and the district administration; 2) Considering Multiple Options: weighing costs and opportunities associated with each course of action; 3) Seeking Equitable and Novel Solutions: including potential partnerships in the community that may bring additional resources to subsidize constrained funding.
Campaign Phone: (503) 701-4096
Campaign Email:
Qualifications: 20 years leading & fighting for public schools: Portland School Board--Chair/member; Oregon Education Investment Board; PSU Graduate School of Education Advisory Board; PPS Site Councils member; parent/classroom volunteer. OSU Board of Trustees.
At the national level, there is an attempt to reduce resources for our public schools, and a renewed focus on privatizing public schools or bringing in for-profit operators. I strongly disagree with this direction! A quality, free public education is the best way to ensure that every child can be prepared for work, college and life. Our public schools are the anchor of our neighborhoods and make our community more livable for people of all ages.
Many students of color, ESL students, and students that happen to attend a particular school don’t have equal access to a basic school curriculum, reading supports, college level courses, electives, and skills prep, as students from other parts of town. This is true at many of the K-8 schools, and some of our neighborhood K-5s and high schools. As a Board member, I will prioritize addressing this, act with urgency, and advocate for a budget to support academic equity across our schools.
My priorities in terms of funding will be to support those services and supports that directly benefit students and the classroom so that Portland students have access to a rigorous curriculum, reading supports, art, music, PE, textbooks, college prep courses and hands-on vocational/technical training. I support reducing administrative staff and curbing pay increases for central office senior staff. The district's internal auditor should identify how services can more effectively be delivered.

Campaign Address: n/a
Campaign Phone: (503) 234-0585
Campaign Email:
Qualifications: I am the only candidate prioritizing the safety of the school environment by advocating for hard wired internet connections to replace microwave emitting wireless routers that are known from scores of scientific studies to be harmful to health.
Gov. Brown's top priority is raising graduation rates. That will be difficult with technology as the cornerstone of education policy. There are now hundreds of studies showing computer use may harm rather than help learning. Acute symptoms of microwave illness are more common now though undiagnosed. A recent study by MIT & U.S. Military Academy showed an 18% drop in test scores by students who used computers. E-rate funds for wireless tech should be refused by Oregon without proof of safety
The DoD "Starbase" program targets "at risk" 5th graders for "learning" excursions to military bases where they learn some fun science along with the promotion of military careers. Starbase naturally targets low income, minority schools. This first contact makes it easier for recruiters to approach children in High School. This is military recruitment - little more. The STEM curriculum compliments military and tech careers. The STEM magazine is heavy in advertisements for military careers.
Safety for Students, Teachers & Staff is paramount. As long as our schools use microwave emitting devices, students are not safe. This is fact, not speculation as confirmed by Medical Professionals from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, EPA, FDA, NIOSH, the Council of Europe, American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Cancer Society, etc. Vast amounts of money can be saved in future tech upgrades by hard wiring computers. Millions in state health care spending would also be saved.
Campaign Phone: (847) 567-0730
Campaign Email:
Campaign Website:
Qualifications: Career educator and scientist with over a decade of experience advocating for access and equitability in education. I have been trained in board-based governance of educational programs and have the capacity and time to be a highly productive member.
I am saddened by the continued move to privatize public education. Given the directives at the federal level, including those coming from the new head of the Department of Education, I will explicitly and vehemently oppose privatization within PPS. As a product of the public school system and the child of two career public school teachers, I believe in the power of a public education, and will support the retention of public education at every turn.
Time, money, accountability. Every day that we wait to address discrepancies in education is a day that contributes to ongoing injustices. I will prioritize equitability on Day 1. Our staff are doing great work with paltry budgets. I will work to financially support existing equity programs to leverage existing work. PPS has a tendency to release policy statements without built-in accountability. I will draft an actionable equity plan with specific benchmarks that holds the district accountable
I believe in centering the needs of the marginalized, and that is more true in lean times than flush times. Despite the coming budget issues, we need to increase programmatic support to our students of color, English language learners, and special education students. If that means we need to reduce programmatic support to predominantly white or predominantly high-achieving student groups, then that is what needs to happen. logo


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