Our friends from the Kerns Neighborhood Association included this snippet about Buckman Elementary in their May e-mail newsletter. We thought it worth passing along.
Most of you are probably aware that Portland Public Schools (PPS) is facing a budget deficit and looking at cutting teachers and staff around the district. There is currently a proposal by the City, Teacher’s Union and School Board that would offset most, if not all, of the teachers cuts for the 2012-13 school year.
While this would be wonderful news, we will not know the outcome of these votes until May 30. (All three groups — City Council, members of the Portland Association of Teachers, and the Portland School Board — have to approve the deal. Please let them know what passage would mean for Buckman!) This news is welcomed but the outcome remains uncertain. Even if votes are passed in favor of this proposal, we cannot be entirely sure that they will re-instate both arts positions in our school. There have been many programs and services cut across our district, not just classroom teachers. Therefore, we must be ready to step in and fill any shortfall in funding, or we may not have our 3 full-time arts positions.
Last Tuesday night we felt an outpouring of love and support for Buckman and its unique and wonderful arts program. Our hope is to continue on this path to preserve and protect this amazing program for our children and future Buckman students. We hope our large funding goal to maintain current staffing at Buckman for the 2012-2013 school year will be lessened–but, we are not of out of the woods yet and anticipate a similar crisis hitting us next spring. There are a number of efforts underway to work on long-term solutions to end these annual school funding crises. Until those long-term solutions take effect, we are continuing our current fundraising campaign. Our over-arching goal is to establish two year’s worth of funding to provide the cushion of time needed to strategize, build partnerships in the arts community, seek grants and work for change on the state level.
Please give as generously as you are able. Make a pledge or donate directly to the Buckman Foundation. Be sure to enter “Specific PPS School” for how to designate your gift, and enter “Buckman” for School Name. If you are feeling compelled to alter your earlier pledge due to the possibility of a change in our immediate need, we will certainly honor that and respect your wishes. During our tabling sessions in the front corridor most folks have expressed their desire to continue with their pledge of support and we so appreciate that. We are all in this together and each have something of value to give–be it time, money or a skill or talent. We will keep you apprised of any updates as they happen. In the meantime, know the crisis has not been averted yet. We are continuing our efforts to preserve our arts program and plan for the future of Buckman. Thank you!