Portland School Board Endorsements
Vote for Jamila Singleton Munson, Julia Brim-Edwards and Virginia LaForte
5/2/2017, 4:10 p.m.
Three upcoming open seats on the Portland School Board will be decided in the May 16 vote-by-mail election. The Portland Observer encourages you to vote for Jamila Singleton Munson, Julia Brim-Edwards and Virginia LaForte.
By choosing Munson for Zone 4, voters can elect a needed voice from the African American community, a dedicated and experienced educator, and a candidate to correct board dysfunction with collaborative leadership.
Munson is a Grant High School graduate, former teacher, principal and leader of a non-profit organization for future education leaders. She has the distinction of empowering kids in historically underserved communities and wants to use that experience to reshape public education in Portland and decrease disparities between students.
Munson established her teaching credentials as a fifth grade public school teacher in the South Bronx after being recruited by Teach for America, a non-profit committed to teaching in low-income schools and working to increase opportunities for disadvantaged populations.
We disagree with critics who oppose her work with charter schools, an unfair attack that puts the self interest of teachers ahead of students, especially from Portland’s black community and other minority groups. Consider the value of SEI Academy at Self Enhancement, Inc. for example, the highly successful, homegrown public charter school working hand in hand with Portland Public Schools to improve the outcomes of hundreds of black and minority children.
In Zone 5 and 6, voters should choose LaForte and Brim-Edwards, two leaders who have successfully worked with the district in the past and know how to get things done in a spirit of cooperation.
LaForte’s help as a school district volunteer to find and capture hundreds of thousands of dollars in monies earmarked for talented and gifted programs serving kids living in poverty that had been routinely forfeited by the district is impressive. She also has served on the PPS bond stakeholder advisory panel and offers a fresh perspective on problem-solving.
Brim-Edwards would bring her deep connections with Oregon’s political landscape to help Portland schools. She serves on the Oregon Education Investment Board and is a senior director of public engagement at Nike. As a prior member of the Portland School Board, she has the experience to restore accountability and trust and be a champion for students and teachers.