For teachers, this past year of teaching during the pandemic has sharpened our certainty of what is fundamental in public education. We can no longer ignore that some children need additional support in the school setting in order to thrive.

We understand the centrality of social work to the success of our students. We have seen how students who are learning English, who experience the challenges of poverty and who have unique learning differences require specific, intentional support. We can assert, with confidence, that equity and inclusion are not luxurious additions to our mission, but fundamental pillars of our work as educators. Therefore, we strongly support the  proposed Portland Public Schools budget for school year 2021-’22.

This budget prioritizes equity, as it should. We are thrilled to see the needs of our students at Talbot Community School reflected in this proposal, including: decreasing barriers to pre-K, additional support for English Language Learners and an intensified commitment to identity work. We are excited about the commitment to equity and inclusion by funding a director of equity and inclusion to sustain and accelerate this mission.

By passing this budget, the City Council will make a strong statement about our values as a city and school system, and initiate a bold move forward into a future where all children receive an equitable education.

Jessica Ellis
Christine Wirth
on behalf of Teachers of Talbot Community School
Portland

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