SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- After teachers in two local school districts announced plans to walk out on May 8, Springfield teachers say they'll be taking action to support education funding in their own way.
Educators in the Bethel School District and Eugene School District 4J will be joining the statewide call to action, organized to fight for more education spending at the state level. Classes at schools in those districts will be canceled, district officials said, citing a lack of substitutes.
Springfield Education Association President Anne Goff told KEZI 9 News that as soon as school is out that Wednesday, teachers, families and community members will meet at 3:15 p.m. at Pioneer Parkway. They plan to line Main Street on both sides, turning it red for education.
Goff said they held a vote, and union members decided to take action after school instead of canceling school on that day.
"We picked a certain threshold that we had to meet for people saying, 'Yes, we will walk out.' We were a tiny bit short of that threshold, so the fallback position was to do an afterschool one,” Goff said.
The Springfield Education Association chose an 80 percent threshold, which is what they typically go by when making big decisions.
Goff said districts across the state need smaller class sizes, more mental health support, counselors in every building, more nurses and up-to-date textbooks.
Parent Katy Malone said increased funding for schools is much needed across the state of Oregon.
"When my second-grade daughter is telling me they don’t have enough things in their class to do their project -- crayons and stuff like that -- that’s a problem,” Malone said.
Malone told KEZI we need better support for our children, and this is a step in the right direction.