Dear Portland Public School Board:
After thoughtful review and soliciting input from Alameda residents on PPS’s proposed changes to school boundaries in our neighborhood, we strongly object to the proposal in its current form.
Specifically, the ANA objects to the current proposal for the following reasons:
1.) Alameda Elementary had a boundary change in 2011, its enrollment has been decreasing, and is forecasted by PSU to continue to steadily decline. Additionally, we have seen no data or evidence that changing Alameda’s boundaries will have a meaningful impact to enrollment in neighboring schools.
2.) The current proposal does not align with PPS’s Administrative Directive for creating “Compact Boundaries” (4.10.409-AD Section V.3.a-d). Further, the proposed changes do not promote a sense of community by keeping neighborhoods together, and instead would move children who reside just a few blocks from their neighborhood schools, and sends them miles away. PPS states that it seeks to align school boundaries with neighborhood boundaries, which this proposal clearly fails to do.
3.) The ANA has very serious concerns about safety issues at Tubman Middle School with respect to air quality, soil hazards, poor sight lines and other unsafe areas. Also, and critically important, the changes proposed by PPS do not promote safer routes to schools. Instead, they dramatically and unacceptably increase the number of busy streets and high-crash corridors students must cross to and from school. Lastly, the increase in traffic by families now forced to commute to Tubman has considerable negative environmental impacts.
4.) Finally, but no less important, PPS failed to provide any notice to the families potentially impacted by this change. The ANA, and most of our impacted residents, found out that Alameda was added to the proposal at the 11th hour through word of mouth. As in 2011, we insist that the community and families who will be affected should be notified of any proposed changes well in advance and be given an opportunity to comment.
In conclusion, we strongly oppose PPS’s current proposal as the negative costs outlined above far outweigh the marginal benefits. We respectfully request that you consider the concerns of our community and eliminate Alameda from the proposal.
Chair: Alameda Neighborhood Association