Published Aug. 30, 2016 -

FILE PHOTO - Second graders raise their hands at a local school.As a former student and current teacher and parent in the Portland Public Schools, there is a small but important need that stands out in my mind: a box of tissues. Perhaps there was a time when there were plenty of boxes to go around. Now however, too many resources are stretched too thin in our public schools.

We ask that our students get by with less and less. I teach 28 elementary school children. My students have limited personal attention from me, limited technology resources, limited space, limited support from specialists, and limited tissues, too.

Ultimately, the most vulnerable kids are hit the hardest by our system. We are barely in compliance in providing services for special-needs students. Education plans for meeting the needs of these students can take a year to complete simply because there just aren’t enough staff members.

As a community, we need to decide if corporate profits should come before our kids’ education. We need to stop making do with less, and provide enough resources to support all children.

Measure 97 will meaningfully invest in Oregon’s schools by making companies pay their fair share. I hope you’ll join me in November by voting yes for our kids.

Maggie Byrkit


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