Banks Middle School. Photo: Chas Hundley
BANKS - The Oregon Education Association has asked teachers across the state of Oregon to join a walkout on May 8 to demand more significant education funding for public schools and community colleges, with some school districts closing due to anticipated low staffing levels.
In Banks, the school district will remain open, according to Banks School District superintendent Jeff Leo in a message posted on the school's social media pages.
According to Leo, teachers and other staff will be wearing red in solidarity with the OEA walkouts, and standing outside their schools to greet students in the morning of May 8.
The Forest Grove School District (FGSD) announced they would close the district on May 8, stating that "a large number" of staff members intended to participate in the walkout.
"Because of the uncertainty around our ability to have enough of our own staff members or substitutes to ensure adequate supervision and safety for our students, we will be canceling school on May 8th," stated FGSD superintendent Dave Parker said in a message on the district's website.
The full letter from Banks School District superintendent Jeff Leo is below.
"As you may have heard and seen in the news, the Oregon Education Association (OEA) has called for a statewide “Day of Action” on Wednesday, May 8th, during which they are encouraging teachers to participate in a walkout to illustrate to the Legislature the need for additional, adequate and stable education funding. Banks School District WILL BE HAVING SCHOOL on May 8th.
Along with our staff, I feel it is imperative that our students receive significant new investments in the funding of education. Oregon education has been in a budget crisis for nearly three decades and our students deserve better. The Banks Education Association (BEA) has decided that the best course of action to support increased educational funding is to have school on May 8th. The teachers will be wearing red that day to show unity and support for better educational funding in the State of Oregon. They have invited the administrators and other staff to take part in that as well. We will all be wearing red on May 8th and we will be outside at the start of school to greet our students. I applaud BEA for making this decision to be at school on May 8th and avoid the disruption that this could of caused for students and parents of the Banks Community.
If you have any questions, please call the school district. Also, I would encourage people to reach out to legislators and demand better funding for the students of Oregon.
Banks School District."