A Portland, Oregon high school teacher planned to deny students recommendations unless they joined the picket lines in the teachers’ strike which kept 50,000 students out of class for three weeks.
“Monday will be day 13,” Sunshine Mcfaul-Amadoro posted on social media last week. “Next year, if you need a letter of recommendation, and you never showed up to support your teachers… do not ask me. I will not be writing letters for anyone who didn’t show up.”
Sunday, the union and district tentatively agreed on a deal that would see students return to class on Monday in a delayed start, local KGW8 reported. But staff and students will be forced to be in class on five days of Christmas vacation, and lose six other days off in the new year. The new deal will be voted on Tuesday.
As for Mcfaul-Amadoro, critics accuse her of “blackmailing” students for political gain.
“That’s abuse of position,” one critic wrote. “She should be fired immediately.”
“They desperately need to start requiring teachers to keep their personal, political or social beliefs out of the classroom,” another wrote. “This should be no more acceptable than religious proselytizing.”
Mcfaul-Amadoro is a member of the largest teacher’s union in Oregon, the Portland Association of Teachers, which went on strike Nov. 1.
If ratified, the tentative new deal is to include the following, KGW8 reports:
- Educators will be provided a 13.8% cumulative cost of living increase over the next three years. About roughly half of educators will be receiving a 10.6% increase from yearly step increases.
- Mandatory minimum student suspensions will be replaced with trauma-informed processes to help students receive the support they need.
- New class-size thresholds and processes for resolving class size concerns impacting educators, school leaders and parents will be restructured.
- All middle school students will be provided with a seven-period day to help expand electives and decrease class sizes.
- $20 million in capital funds will be dedicated to temperature mitigation and maintenance issues prioritized by educators.
- 15 minutes will be added to the school day for elementary and middle grades beginning next school year, student instruction time to be maintained.
- Minimum planning time will be increased by 90 minutes each week, going from 320 minutes to 410 minutes – for elementary and middle school educators while also adding planning and grading days for all levels.
- The district’s Rapid Response Team to support mental and behavioral health needs in school communities will be tripled.
- The hiring process will also be expedited in order to be more competitive in comparison to other regional districts.
The new contract will reportedly cost the cash-strapped district $175 million over the next three years.