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Parents, students rally to support teacher labor talks

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: ADAM WICKHAM - A sign taped at a rally Monday evening shows student support for Portland Public School teachers during a noisy gathering outside the Blanchard Education Student Center in North Portland.About 200 Portland Public Schools students, teachers, parents and union leaders rallied Monday evening at the Portland School Board meeting, demanding that school officials continue contract negotiations with the Portland Association of Teachers until an agreement is reached.

The rally outside the Blanchard Education Service Center on North Dixon Street was noisy, with students and others using a bullhorn to lead chants and give speeches.

The Portland Student Union and the Portland Teachers Solidarity Campaign, the event's organizers, say they're concerned the school board will soon force a contract.

Students from Wilson, Cleveland and Jefferson high schools spoke at the rally, and were joined by teachers, parents and union leaders.

PPS teacher contract talks are in their ninth month; both sides reached agreement on several issues last month, but the biggest ones are still unresolved.