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House Bill 2632 – Lower property taxes & boost school funding?

There is a new idea in Salem in the form of House Bill 2632. Check out this short story from the Oregonian and if you are in support, contact your legislators and let them know today!

Oregon House will vote on bill to divert $4.5 million from PDC to schools

on May 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM

jules bailey

SALEM — Because of Oregon’s quirky property tax system, a bill heading to the floor of the Oregon House
could simultaneously lower property taxes in Portland and boost funding for schools.

That contradictory effect is the result of the interplay between the taxing authority of Portland’s urban  renewal agency, the Portland Development Commission and Portland Public Schools.

Currently, the PDC can divert funding from other property tax districts such as the city of Portland, Multnomah County and Portland Public Schools. And because the agency’s taxing authority predates 2001,     it can also divert money raised by local option levies.

House Bill 2632 would remove that authority. It would affect nearly 100 urban renewal agencies statewide,   but the vast majority of the monetary impact would be seen in Portland, where the PDC currently diverts    $7.5 million from Portland school levies.

If the bill passed, that $7.5 million would be sent back to schools. Along the way the tax would be subject to “compression” thanks to Oregon’s property tax limitations, resulting in $4.5 million in new revenue for Portland Public Schools and a $3 million tax cut for property owners.

“We think the voters want that money to go to education and we want to find a way to get that back,“ said David Williams, a lobbyist for Portland Public Schools.

There’s one glitch left to work out. Multnomah County thinks it could cost up to $300,000 to reprogram the county’s tax assessment system to handle the complex transaction.

The House Revenue Committee unanimously approved the bill Wednesday morning, acknowledging that the Senate may need to amend the law to make it phase-in over time, allowing for tax assessors to upgrade software.

That’s a small price to pay for a $4.5 million shot in the arm to schools, said Rep. Jules Bailey, D-Portland.

“We shouldn’t let a small one-time cost in administration get in the way of getting more money to schools and critical services,” Bailey said.

–Christian Gaston

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Chance to talk money for schools TONIGHT Thursday March 21st @ Winterhaven

Sunnyside parents have been invited to join the parents and PTSA of Winterhaven School TONIGHT (March 21, 2013) … it’s all about 

winterhaven (1)

money for schools! Please attend and learn more about the process of funding schools, both in general and for this specific year.  

·When: Thursday, March 21st, 6:30 – 8:00

Joining us will be:·Where: Winterhaven School

·Ruth Adkins, Portland Public Schools Board Member

·Deborah Kafoury, Multnomah County Commissioner, former Oregon State legislator, school funding advocate and Winterhaven parent

·Otto Schell, Oregon PTA Legislative Director

·Mark Sandilands, Winterhaven Principal

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Your chance to speak out – Gov. Kitzhaber in Portland Monday Town Hall March 18th

This Monday, you’ve got an opportunity to speak out and make a difference for school funding.

Gov. Kitzhaber will be in Portland on Monday evening for a town hall

ImageProxyOregon has the third largest class sizes in the country, and one of the shortest school years.on education. It’s your chance to make your voice heard about the need to put more money into our classrooms  by reining in out of control tax breaks and using tax dollars   efficiently. Visit this link to let us know you’ll be there:                       

 Kitzhaber Town Hall on Education Monday, March 18 6-7:30pm, Madison High School 2735 NE 82nd Avenue Portland, Oregon 97220 The questions for the town hall are being moderated by the Portland School Board—get your question in now by submitting them to the PPS Facebook page. Here are some facts to help you put your questions together:  

  • Over the next two years, Oregon is expected to give away more than $36 billion in tax breaks.
  • Since 2009, the amount of money Oregon gives away in tax breaks has grown by 29%, even while budgets for schools and critical services have been cut.
  • Oregon is now tied for the lowest business taxes in the nation.
  • Funding for K-12 schools is $3 billion below what experts believe we need in order to provide a quality education for every Oregon kid.


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The Election is almost here – ways to support the bond.

Hey folks. Thanks to everyone who has supported the bond with lawn signs and

making calls. We are having one more Sunnyside Phone Bank night for the bond on Monday, October 29th at   Bond Headquarters 1785 NE Sandy Blvd. from 5 – 8 pm. If you can make it, please let    Sue Lyon-Myrick  ( know to expect you and feel free to bring a friend!

Earlier that day you can join Our Portland, Our Schools at some of the busiest corners in town where they will be  smiling and proudly waving “Vote Yes on the School Bond” signs for morning commuters to see!  Pick one of 8 highly visible locations, and   let them know that they will see you there!


You can sign up today to be a Bond Visibility Captain! Select one of the locations and have 2-3 friends join you for one of two shifts.

1. Monday October 29 – November 1, 7:30a.m.-9:00a.m.
2. Friday November 2 – November 6th, 7:30a.m.-9:00a.m.Show up at the site you select with your hand made 2012 School Bond Banner (or pick one up at the office)
1. 39th and Sandy Blvd
2. Burnside and W. 23rd Ave
3. East end of Broadway bridge
4. East end of the Hawthorne bridge
5. West end of the Hawthorne bridge
6. East end of the Morrison bridge
7. 39th and SE Powell
8. MLK/Grand at Broadway/Weidler

Find more information at their Facebook page for this event at:

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Calling all canvassers – great weather for a walk & a little “bond” talk

Hey folks. If you are interested in supporting the Bond and getting out in this gorgeous fall weather, have we got a deal for you!

With the amazing forecast for the next week or so, the bond campaign is focusing efforts on canvassing. This weekend,and all weekends, they are canvassing from 10 – 1 on Saturday and from 3 – 6 on Sunday.

Their location this weekend where they are meeting up to disperse into the neighborhood is Hamilton City Park in the SW next to Bridelmeyer School.

So if this is for you, get your walking shoes on!


If you are feeling the need to advocate for Public Education but maybe from the comfort of your own home for now or at least not through canvassing door-to-door, the National Education Association is asking for your help to save education jobs:

Congress has left Washington, DC and won’t return until mid-November, when these critical issues will take center stage. Now is the time to make our voices heard. We need to tell Congress that education and other critical programs cannot continue to bear the brunt of deficit reduction. The choice is stark: Congress can protect students and their education, or it can continue to coddle the wealthiest two percent and corporations that ship jobs overseas.Don’t let them make the wrong choice!

Take Action Today:

• Tell Congress to take a balanced approach to deficit reduction and reject more cuts to education.
• See new state by state data on what the pending cuts would mean for students and educators where you live.
• Visit your Members of Congress when they are back home campaigning. Tell them to stop the cuts to education and to make sure the top two percent pay their fair share.

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Call me Bond … volunteer! ;-)

As you may know, activities in support of the Portland School District Bond are well underway. The Sunnyside PTSA has voted to support the bond and as such has committed to recruit volunteers to help with several phone banks between now and election day.

Like to talk on the phone? Not into canvassing door-to-door? We need YOU! 

Phone bank volunteering is a great way to make a difference!

The bond is providing the space, the phone script, and the targeted list of folks to call. They will train you…and it’s very simple training. The type of phone banking we will be doing is easy, as it is to a list of Democrats, and you will  just talk with them briefly about the Bond to gauge their level of agreement.  If they are unsure, then we give them a few “bullet points”.  If they are totally supportive, we ask if we can place a yard sign at their property, and get their address.

The Sunnyside Phone Bank Night we currently need volunteers for (from 5-8 pm) is:

  • Wednesday, October 17

You can also sign up for another night to volunteer on your own. I ask that you just let me know so that I can keep track of how many volunteers from Sunnyside we have provided!

Stay tuned as there will likely be one more “official” SES night that I recruit callers for before election day! Thanks for all your help & support!

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Weekend Advocacy Volunteer Opportunities

It may be the weekend, but there’s still work to be done. If you are interested in supporting the PPS School Bond, you can join Our Portland, Our Schools for their first door-

knocking walk of this election season!  Should you choose to get involved, you will walk with other volunteers and let folks know about the school bond measure and why it matters for us, our kids, and our city.

There are 2 volunteer shifts this Saturday, September 15: 

  • 10 am – 1 pm or
  • 1 pm – 3 pm

Southeast Portlanders: your meet-up spot is SE 26th and Franklin. Carole Onasch will have everything you need!

Northeast Portlanders: scoot over to NE 36th and Thompson at 10am or 1pm and Richard Gilliam will be there to help!

North Portlanders: meet at Columbia Park, corner of N. Russet and Chautauqua at 10am or 1pm. Hit up Miguel Lopez for details.

Southwest Portlanders: head to Lincoln High Schools track at 10am or 1pm, and look to Ben Eckstein for more info.

Additionally, the National Education Association (NEA) says: WE NEED YOUR HELP TODAY TO STOP EDUCATION CUTS!
Congress is likely only in session for one more week, but they will return after the election to debate these critical issues.  Now is the time to make our voices heard.  We need to tell Congress that education and other critical programs cannot continue to bear the brunt of deficit reduction.   We need to demand a balanced approach – one that protects the middle class and asks the top two percent of earners in this nation to pay their fair share.   The choice is stark: Congress can protect students and their education, or it can continue to coddle the wealthiest two percent and corporations that ship jobs overseas.

Take Action Today:

More soon!


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3 days into school, 3 opportunities to help!

Only three days into the 2012-2013 school year and already there is tons to report as far as ways to get involved in supporting school funding. I already talked about the Portland Schools bond measure we’ll be voting on come November and provided a link to the Our Portland, Our Schools website for more information. With schools back in session, the campaign is wasting no time getting moving, announcing just this week their campaign co-chairs: Governor Barbara Roberts, Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Student Representative to the School Board, Alexia Garcia.  Today they announced their first fundraiser and YOU are invited! If you would like to support the bond by doing a little bowling, this could be just for you:

number 1

On Saturday, September 22nd from 4p.m. – 7p.m. at Hollywood Bowl at 4030 Northeast Halsey Street the campaign is hosting a community-wide bowling tournament hosted by Congressman Blumenauer. Tickets are $35! For information about purchasing tickets, call 503-619-9080. You can also RSVP on Facebook for event updates, and to invite your friends!
For more information on the bond measure and the campaign’s efforts, check out their website at:

On a national level, The National Education Association (NEA) is asking folks to get involved by:
  1. Tell Congress to take a balanced approach to deficit reduction and reject more cuts to education.
  2. See state-by-state data and charts on what the sequestration cuts would mean for students, schools, and education jobs where you live.
  3. Read a summary of the devastating projected impact of the looming cuts on key education programs.
And last but not least, is the potential to get involved with Our Oregon (spearheading the give back the corporate kicker campaign) at their upcoming rally:
Rally to Restore School Funding!

On Friday, September 21, hundreds of parents, teachers, and students will stand up to say that our K-12 schools can’t afford more budget cuts. Join them to make your voice heard!

Rally to Restore School Funding
Friday, September 21
Grant Park, Portland (at NE 33rd and Brazee)
Music at 3:30pm, Rally at 4pm

Click here to sign up!

Or sign up through Facebook here.

That’s what I’ve got for this week but keep checking back because no doubt there will be more opportunities to fight for stable and adequate school funding for our public schools!

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Public Education Funding Advocacy Blog (the name may change)!

Today was the first day of school here in Portland. I can feel the excitement even from a middle school boy who is trying hard to be cool and uninterested.
Going back to school with all our great teachers and our great school is a reminder of how lucky we are but also a reminder that there is work to be done to stabilize adequate school funding for our school, all PPS schools and all public schools in Oregon. Our kids deserve it and our state needs to step up to the plate. As everyone settles in to the new school routine, those of us who care about our schools know there is much work to be done and plenty of volunteer advocacy opportunities will be coming throughout this year for local initiatives as well as statewide.

On this first day of school at Portland Public Schools, you may have seen volunteers in front of your school from Our Portland, Our Schools. You may have even received a lawn sign!

It may be only day one for the kids and us parents, but there is already a chance to help our schools. On Election Day, Portlanders will vote on a bond measure that asks us to reinvest $482 million in our public schools. This School Bond is our chance to turn this city’s aging school buildings into the safe, healthy, and inspiring environments that Portland deserves.

For more details on what the bond would do, go to:

Just a few ways you can choose to get involved in the bond campaign include:

As a parent at Sunnyside, I know you already do a great deal for our kids! Thanks for all you do! As a long-time parent at SES (parent of 4th & 7th graders), I have joined the PTSA board this year and my job is to provide you with information on how you can help to solidify school funding through various channels, groups and initiatives if that is something you feel passionate about. I will do my best to sift through what’s out there in terms of potential advocacy opportunities and provide you with the information right here on this blog. Visit often or follow. I will also post some of the opportunities in the SES Weekly Messenger.

I look forward to an awesome Year of the Forest at Sunnyside in 2012-2013 with you and your wonderful children!

Sue Lyon-Myrick