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PNS Daily Newscast - September 25, 2018 


The list of accusers against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh continues to swell. Also on the Tuesday rundown: Hurricane Florence SNAPs North Carolina to attention on the importance of food benefits; plus a new report says young parents need better supports.

Daily Newscasts

For OR Teachers, a Bittersweet Back-to-School Week

September 12, 2011

PORTLAND, Ore. - Back to school means big changes for many Oregon students and teachers this month, from larger class sizes and fewer electives, to staff cuts. In Sandy, teacher Sena Norton says the counselors at her elementary school exemplify the effects of more than 6,000 school jobs cut statewide in the last three years. They are juggling bigger caseloads, teaching classes and handling administrative duties as well.

In her sixth-grade class, Norton has 37 students. She says the room is so crowded that they've spent the first week bumping into each other.

"Every educator you speak to, the first thing they say and the first thing that's in their heart is, 'This is not right for kids and their learning environment.' I don't care which way you say it, whose fault it is, who you want to point fingers at - it's not fair for the kids. And that's not something that we feel okay about."

Norton says in their first-day introductions, about half of her students indicated concern about the class size and their ability to cope with it.

Tony Crawford is starting his 32nd year of teaching in Canby at a different middle school, because the other one was closed for budget reasons. He'll have at least 35 students in his geography classes, and feels lucky compared to art and PE, which will have 60 students. Crawford worries that education is being reduced to the basics at a time when students will need more skills as adults.

"I cannot offer to my current students the same opportunities that their parents experienced when they were my students. There was a time we had foreign language offered at our middle school, even such things as wood shop and metal shop. We used to have a full-blown sports program. These offerings are long gone."

This month, Gov. Kitzhaber outlined plans for better preschool outcomes and a high school diploma in every Oregon student's future. Teachers say they're hopeful, but they wonder where the money will come from to achieve those goals.

Information about the governor's plan is available at http://governor.oregon.gov.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR