Oregon Public Schools’ Suffering Effects of Pandemic

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has many of us wondering what will happen to our public schools as a result. Every public school across the state is making at least one change to their current system – and as the Oregon Department of Education recently reported that school will likely be out until summer, more schools are switching to online learning, with their budgets suffering in the process.   

It’s now expected that Gov. Kate Brown’s order for schools to be shut down until April 28 will extend past that date. As a result, districts now have until April 13 to launch their plans for their students during this crisis.   

On Monday, April 6, Portland public schools will make the switch to online learning for its students, with only high schoolers taking classes for credits. The district has lent out 3,900 Chromebooks for students and is continuing to provide meals at fifteen of their schools.   

How drastic budget cuts for school districts will be is still up in the air, but all schools are likely to feel the financial effects of the pandemic. For Portland Public Schools, for example, Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero should expect cuts between 4% and 9% (about $60 million) for the 2020-2021 budget.   

Another result of the pandemic is that Oregon’s public universities will no longer be requiring standardized test scores upon applying. This includes Oregon State University, which recently announced that they’re dropping this requirement along with the University of Oregon and Portland State University.   

Public online academies are no longer able to accept new students, as students are not advised to enroll or withdraw in any schools, including online ones, during the school closure.  

By Cara Nixon