Monday, October 20, 2008

Again with the Election

Those of you reading this in Oregon should have your ballots in hand by now and, if not, it's only a matter of days. I wrote here recently about the problems I see in ballot measures 58 and 60 but there's one more thing I wanted to share with you.

Those of you in the Portland metro area will also have an opportunity to vote for PCC Bond Measure 26-95 and I would very strongly encourage you to vote yes. Full disclosure for any readers who don't already know: I am a longtime employee of Portland Community College. However this bond has nothing to do with my job (which won't be affected regardless of the vote) and everything to do with improving access to education for all PCC students.

PCC's enrollment has grown nearly 20% in recent years to the point that it is now the largest post-secondary institution i, serving 86,000 students annually which is more than all seven of Oregon's public universities combined. Two-thirds of household in the district have members who've taken classes at PCC and the number will only grow as university tuition skyrockets. PCC offers an affordable way for people to train for new careers, take up new hobbies, earn a GED, study English, and earn transfer credits. Without PCC, a lot of would-be students would be, quite simply, left behind.

The problem is that with its growing popularity, many classes are jam-packed and students are stuck on waiting lists which slows their academic progress. Classroom space is at a premium, we have outdated equipment and technology, and some of our facilities are due for safety upgrades.

If the bond passes, PCC will have much more to offer all of its students. My campus has always gotten short shrift, so the possibility of adding of a library, science labs, and new career training facilities is very exciting, but all the campuses would benefit. One of the most crucial benefits would be funding to add or expand child care facilities on most campuses. Given how many of my female students drop out due to child care issues, this is huge.

I realize that no one has extra money to throw around these days but this is really an investment in the future of our city for just a few dollars each month. I encourage those of you here in Portland to research the bond further here and here and I hope that you'll agree with me that a yes vote makes sense in so many ways.

I'm Magpie Ima and I approved this ad. Thank you.

No comments: