Who We Are
Stand for Children is a nonprofit, nonpartisan student-advocacy organization. We are parents, educators, and community members. Our goal is for Portland Public Schools (PPS) to be one of the best public school systems in the country; a place where all students — regardless of race and socioeconomic status — graduate ready for college or the workforce.
We are motivated by facts and data and by personal stories.
PPS students perform below national and state averages in math and reading. Almost half will not finish high school. Other districts in Oregon subject to the same funding uncertainties and with similar demographics do better while spending less. What can we learn from them? How can we do better for our kids?
We aspire to and support these goals:
1. PPS leaders relentlessly focus on student teaching and learning. They use data to make programmatic changes and critical decisions.
2. PPS parents & community members are actively engaged in student learning.
3. High performing PPS teachers and principals with accountability and support succeed in achieving excellent student learning.
4. PPS students are meeting nationally recognized benchmarks that foretell readiness, and they are graduating on time and ready for college or to enter the workforce.
We believe that the accomplishment of these outcomes within the next three years will create an improved environment that significantly enhances the ability of our children — especially our underserved children — to succeed.
Stand for Children members in Portland are making a lasting difference for the children of our community. Our recent accomplishments include:
2011 – Supporting a significant legislative agenda
Members lobbied for and helped pass state laws to improve the leadership of the State Department of Education, help low-income students stay in high school and take college classes, improve support for teachers through better evaluations, and prioritize full day kindergarten in Oregon.
2010 – Measures 66 and 67
Members volunteered hundreds of hours making calls and going door to door in true grassroots outreach to support Measures 66 and 67, which protected schools and vital public services from $727 million in cuts.
2009 – Member Action Halts Public Funding for Soccer Stadium
During a time when schools and the county were making significant cuts, Portland Stand leaders decided that we could not afford to divert tax dollars to build a major league soccer stadium. Chapter officers and team coordinators generated hundreds of phone calls and emails to City Council, urging them not to use urban renewal money to finance the soccer stadium. It was this last-minute advocacy, in concert with advocates from Multnomah County and Portland Public Schools, which helped Commissioners Dan Saltzman and Nick Fish to decide that the deal could not move forward with this public money on the table.
2008 – Portland Children’s Levy Renewal
The Portland Chapter helped renew the Children’s Investment Fund, making nearly half of the voter contacts for the campaign. The Children's Levy funds 67 cost-effective, proven programs that serve 16,000 Portland kids each year with before and after school mentorship, early childhood education, child abuse prevention and intervention, and support for foster children. Learn more at www.childrenslevy.com.
- Protecting school funding. In 2005, 2007, and 2009, Stand for Children and our state allies successfully lobbied the state Legislature for increased K-12 funding. This helped mitigate the cuts to programs and the increase in class size, despite large cuts in the 2010 and 2011 school years
- The successful adoption of the Chapter's after-school program policy recommendations, aimed at developing students' social and academic skills, by the Portland City Council, the Multnomah County Commission, and the Portland Children's Investment Fund Allocation Committee.
- Preserving over $200 million in funding for schools (for more than 90,000 students), senior and disabled services, and public safety by playing a key role in defeating the repeal of the Multnomah County Income Tax in November 2004.
- Helping pass the Portland Children's Levy in November 2002, a property tax levy which funds 67 cost-effective, proven programs that serve 16,000 Portland kids each year with before and after school mentorship, early childhood education, child abuse prevention and intervention, and support for foster children. In 2008, the Portland Chapter helped renew the Children’s Investment Fund, making nearly half of the voter contacts for the campaign.