In the news: foundation reforms, Mincberg to depart

9:53 am

The Portland Schools Foundation (PSF) is mostly doing away with its competitive grant program, and will award most of its Equity Fund money based on need. Under the leadership of former PPS school board co-chair Dan Ryan, the foundation will also allow schools to hire teaching staff with the money, something that was not previously allowed.

This is a serious step toward ending the cruel irony of a system that has allowed wealthy families to directly fund teachers at their schools while scattering crumbs across the rest of the district. I and others have been calling for exactly this kind of reform for quite a while.

Dan Ryan deserves kudos for taking this first important step, but let’s go all the way. Eliminate the $10,000 exemption (wealthy schools keep all of the first $10K they raise) and raise the equity contribution to 50% (wealthy schools currently tithe 30% of funds raised). Only when we can hire one teacher in a poor school for every teacher hired with private fund-raising in a wealthy school will the Equity Fund live up to its name.

In other news, PPS COO Cathy Mincberg will leave the district May 15, according to a press release.

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Steve Rawley published PPS Equity from 2008 to 2010, when he moved his family out of the district.

filed under: Equity, Fundraising, Jefferson High, K-8 Transistion, Media, PSF

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4 Responses

  1. Comment from Marian:

    I’m pleased to hear we are rid of Mincberg. It fits that she’ll be working with an on-line “education” company.

  2. Comment from marcia:

    I am surprised that more people aren’t doing cartwheels over Mincberg leaving. …Mentor to Rod “teachers are terrorists” Paige..and largely responsible I suspect for the school closures and resulting K-8 fiasco under Vicki Phillips.

  3. Comment from Anne T.:

    When people on the bottom recognize that this capitalist system values war over our children’s futures, favors corporate profits over people’s lives, promotes racism and sexism in a conscious effort to divide and conquer, attacks the people who work the hardest and make the least, and realize that this system IS NOT reformable this will begin to change for the better.
    Mincberg is the perfect representative of these above mentioned values. Yes, I am glad to see her go, but there are many more corporate servants waiting in line to fill her shoes. We need to be vigilant, strong, and clear in our actions. This is not about Mincberg as an individual, rather it is about a corrupt system that will destroy us if we don’t change it.

  4. Comment from Sherwood:

    I think the change is excellent and long overdue. An equity fund should be about need and I’m happy to contribute.
    Having said that, if half of the money I give to help my child’s school is siphoned off it will be one more nail in the coffin of PPS (one of the few viable city school districts left). By most measures it’s already illogical for many of my neighbors to send their kids to the local school. They do it because they support the idea and can have a modicum of influence via time and money. Why not send your kid to the local private school where 100% of your efforts will benefit your child? Ignoring basic human nature will create the opposite of what you seek.