Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What was the proposal that was voted on January 9th?
Principal Walker and a sub-committee of PTA members presented a proposal for the PTA to grany $12,084 to All Hands Raised to support the hire of a part-time Educational Assistant (EA).
Specifically, this would be a .469 EA position, with a job description that includes:
- Support morning arrival of students
- Additional recess support for students
- Rotate through oversized classrooms to provide academic and social support
- Academic support - work with teachers to provide additional interventions for students who need support or acceleration for students working above grade level in key content areas (e.g. Reading, Math, etc.)
- Social support - work with teachers to provide additional behavioral interventions for students who need support (e.g. check-in/check-out, breaks are better, etc.)
- If no support is needed in classrooms over thresholds, EA would support other grade levels and teachers as needed.
- Develop schedule of A.M. rotation: 8:00-11:45
Costs for a .469 EA for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year
- Approximately 113 days for a total of $9,086
- Additional funding for the Parent Equity Fund $2,998
- Total approximate amount needed $12,084
Why do we need additional FTE?
Additional staff are needed to support classrooms over threshold (this is the term used to define the limit of students allocated to a classroom. Many CH classes are exceeding the threshold), provide additional academic and behavioral support, and support student transition and supervision.
Why is PPS not providing this FTE Support?
Portal Public Schools (PPS) contends that we are proportionately staffed for the number of students we serve. We disagree. According to PPS, if the number of students goes above the cap size, the district would be required to allocated additional FTE. However, we believe we are not proportionally staffed.
Furthermore, while many classes exceed the threshold, the district is NOT required to allocate additional FTE if a classroom is over the class size threshold. The class size limits are set by the teachers' contracts.
How will this position benefit all Capitol Hill Students?
All students should feel an impact of having additional FTE support, even if the position is part-time. This individual will float between classes and help teachers in various ways.
Why are the funds granted to All Hands Raised and not directly to the school?
This is complicated and has to do with rules and policies that help to distribute the wealth across the various PPS communities. Not all school communities have the financial resources to hire staff; therefore, there are limits on what our PTA can contribute directly. When we exceed the limit, we are required to grant funds to the PPS Foundation, All Hands Raised, which then distributes the bulk of our grant back to Capitol Hill and a smaller portion towards an equity fund that is available to other schools needing assistance. For more information on the Parent Equity Fund, visit this link. Also, read more below.
How will the proposal be initiated now that it has been approved?
With allocated funds and approval, staff will be hired and the school will create a schedule for the new staff to support students and classrooms. Principal Kevin Walker will lead the process of hiring, training, and working with staff to ensure a successful implementation.
Tell me more about this Parent Equity Fund.
In 1994-1995, on the heels of Measure 5's cuts to public education, parents from a number of Portland schools asked the PPS board to allow them to create a vehicle for raising private dollars to support teaching and staff positions at their schools. The PPS board allowed for the creation of "local school foundations" at all of PPS schools. The school board also required than an Equity Fund be established. One-third of all funds raised (after the first $10,000) by Local School Foundations is set aside in the PPS Parent Equity Fund that is distributed by All Hands Raised to high-need schools using a data-driven formula; a formular that is examined each year to ensure the funds are reaching the highest-need schools.
Since it's establishment, the PPS Parent Equity Fund has attracted national attention for its creative and collaborative approach to addressing disparities in school funding and has awarded almost $11 million in grants to schools in need.
How can I learn more about Portland Public Funding and/or voice my concerns with the current levels of funding?
PPS is currently seeking budget review committee members as it prepares for the coming two-year budget cycle. You should contact your local school board member, superintendent, state house representative for our area, and Governor to advocate for our schools being fully funded.