Survey finds most believe Portland teachers’ strike was avoidable

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A poll conducted by an Oregon nonprofit found that most residents believe the Portland teachers’ strike could have been avoided, but the pickets didn’t worsen most respondents’ views of the educators.

Between Dec. 19, 2023 and Jan. 7 of this year, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center surveyed 1,807 adults to determine their opinions on recent happenings in the local education system.

MultCo. DA’s Office backs bill that would remove loophole in revenge porn law

OVBC first focused on the historic strike led by the Portland Association of Teachers, which caught national attention for 26 days last November as educators protested for everything from additional planning time to student mental health support.

After weeks of negotiating with Portland Public Schools, PAT ultimately voted to ratify a three-year contract with the district. Although the new contract featured much of what the teachers’ union was advocating for — including higher pay and a committee to address class sizes — 68% of survey respondents said the strike could have been avoided in the first place.

“There’s enough money and funding in the state to cover education costs,” one Multnomah County respondent wrote. “The problem is management and priorities set by the Governor and the legislature.”

According to the results, 37% of participants said both PPS and PAT should have used a different approach to bargaining. Another 20% of voters solely held the school board accountable for the strike, while 11% stated that the teachers’ union was at fault.

Oregon Senate committee votes to end Daylight Savings Time

OVBC also asked respondents whether the strike affected their opinions of state and local organizations and leaders. Most voters said the event didn’t change their perception at all, but others were more impacted.

About 22% of voters said they held a more positive view of Portland teachers after the strike, while 20% said they held a more negative view.

“What’s even more noteworthy is that Portland residents demonstrate a greater net-positive change in their opinions of schoolteachers, despite facing challenges such as childcare and workforce disruptions, worries about students falling further behind after pandemic-related learning losses, and last-minute changes to the school calendar after the strike ended,” OVBC Associate Executive Director Amaury Vogel said in a statement.

When asked about their thoughts on the school board after the strike, 10% of respondents said they viewed PPS more positively and 28% said they viewed the district more negatively.

14 arrested at East Portland homeless camp after neighbors complain of shootings, drug use

Additionally, 12% of participants said they held more positive feelings toward Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek and 22% said they held more negative feelings.

Another focus of the poll was Oregon’s overall education system and funding.

About 81% of voters supported the idea of school districts establishing requirements for students, such as reading proficiency by the end of third grade.

Former Oregon CEO’s truck seized after $120M fraud scheme

Respondents were also asked whether Oregon lawmakers should have authority over how school districts manage their budget or negotiations with teachers. In both cases, more participants said they opposed the idea than supported it.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to