Parents worry school could be targeted for closure

Parents worry school could be targeted for closure »Play Video
Parents met on Saturday to organize their message to Portland Public Schools. (KATU photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. – A potential school overhaul in North and Northeast Portland has some parents fighting back.

Portland Public Schools will announce its final options for balancing enrollment in the Jefferson cluster on Monday. That has parents in the neighborhood worried that Chief Joseph Elementary School might be shut down.

The district thinks the school has too many students and wants others in the area to have more. Shutting Chief Joseph down is one of the options on the table.

A group of parents calling themselves the Chief Joseph Bucket Brigade met Saturday to organize their message to the district.

“What we all want is a better school system for our kids,” said parent Kerri Melda. “We want to know that PPS is doing more than just shifting around people and they’re actually doing something to improve our schools.”

“This cluster, this neighborhood has been systematically dismantled by PPS,” said parent Kelly Bawden.

The district claims that enrollment is lopsided now and will hurt students in the long term, citing research for its recommendations. Research parents said the district has not shared with them yet.