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Non-student day announced for planned day of action over state schools funding

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Christopher Doucet, a librarian at W. Verne McKinney Elementary School in Hillsboro protests at a rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square on April 10. Hundreds of Hillsboro teachers and staff are expected to skip work May 8 to send a message to lawmakers about the importance of K-12 funding., Hillsboro Tribune - News Teachers from across the state will walk out of class May 8 to protest state funding for education. Hillsboro School District canceled May 8 due to planned walkout Beaverton schools won't be in session on Wednesday, May 8, as teachers across the state will leave or skip work for a planned teacher walkout and day of action.

After initially telling parents to prepare for possible school closures, Beaverton School District officials later announced May 8 would be a non-student day.

"The May 8 walkout impacts our ability to safely operate schools," BSD Superintendent Don Grotting said in a notification to parents.

Across the state, teachers are planning to walk out of class next week to protest a state education funding package that has many public schools facing major budget deficits. In Beaverton, the school district is budgeting for a $35 million shortfall, due in-part to rising employee retirement costs, students transferring out of the district, and previous revenue assumptions that proved too high.

"We support the goal and urgency of advocacy from all employees," Grotting said during a recent school board meeting.

While school won't be in session, regularly scheduled Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate testing will still take place. Additionally, several school sites will still offer free breakfast and lunch for students.

"There's none of this that's good for kids," Grotting said, addressing the state education budget and resulting cuts planned within BSD.

Earlier in April, BSD announced plans to cut roughly 200 certified positions from its 2019-20 school year budget, meaning layoffs and "involuntary staff transfers."

The walkout won't affect the number of days in the remaining school year, and the Beaverton Education Association, the union representing the district's certified staff, has agreed that the day of action will reduce one day from the paid work year, the district stated in the announcement.

Tigard-Tualatin Schools announced that they would wait and see how many teachers show up May 8. Classes could be cancelled if teachers are protesting.

Sherwood School District educators plan a "walk-in," in which teachers will gather in front of their schools — many dressed in "red for ed" T-shirts — and will enter their schools together in solidarity.

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