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Educators are heading to Salem to support school funding and there won't be enough substitutes

Schools in the Gresham and Corbett areas will close Wednesday, May 8, because many of their teachers will be headed to the state Capitol to protest inadequate school funding.

The Gresham-Barlow School District is joining Portland Public Schools and other districts in the state, so teachers can travel to Salem for the demonstration.

"The school district will be closed to students May 8 because the day of action would lead to a substitute shortage and prevent the school district from having enough staff to support students," the Gresham-Barlow district said in an announcement.

The Corbett School Board was expected to vote Wednesday night, April 17, to join other districts in closing on May 8.

The Centennial School District is working out the details of a likely May 8 closure, but had not made a final decision by press time.

The Reynolds School District will also close May 8. Reynolds plans to add an instructional day at the end of the school year.

Reynolds Superintendent Danna Diaz will present the revised calendar to the school board for its approval.

Closing school in May is complicated because many schools have Outdoor School, AP testing and other activities that are difficult to reschedule.

Gresham-Barlow is switching up its school calendar to accommodate the change. Friday, April 26, was originally a professional development day for Gresham-Barlow teachers and students would not be in school that day. Instead, April 26 will be a regular school day.

"Due to the Oregon Education Association's May 8 statewide day of action to protest decades of school budget crises and to advocate for the state to significantly invest in K-12 education so schools have adequate resources to serve all students, the Gresham-Barlow School District will adjust its calendar," the district said in the announcement.

The Gresham-Barlow district and the teacher's union reached an agreement on April 16 to swap a non-school day for a school day to ensure instructional time will not be lost because of the Wednesday, May 8, school closure. 

Some districts are adding a day to the end of the school year. The Gresham-Barlow School District is not able to extend the school year due to previously scheduled bond construction work, the district said.

Gresham-Barlow parents with questions about co-curricular activities, school events, etc., should contact their child's school for more information.

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