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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Portland schools hiring flack just for construction pork projects

Here's a funny-yet-sad job posting by the Portland public schools. They're going to hire a full-time "capital communications coordinator," at a salary up to $64,000, to handle the p.r. just for the upcoming remodel of three high schools. Really? A separate p.r. flack for a remodeling project?

How much are you willing to bet that this person will also be working on the next construction pork bond measure, which we already know is coming? Super Carole's gang got off scot-free when they last used public money to campaign illegally -- Kate Brown bungled the regulations. And so there probably will be no penalty if they cheat again next time.

Whatever the new "capital communications coordinator" will be doing, it's a waste of money. Maybe Super Carole should hire a math teacher instead.

Comments (15)

Doesn't $64k equal aout two teacher salaries?
What a waste!

Should we be surprised PPS spares no expense in placing as many firewalls and sacrificial lambs between the public and PPS top brass? Especially when it's OUR money used to fight us?

Is there some obstacle in law to their renting out space in under-used schools for education-with-production? Kids are inventing such interesting things these days, Couldn't schools get a cut of the intellectual property (IP) royalties, or something?

Parkrose SD has bond projects going on now, too and has a very slick PR campaign as well. Can't be cheap.


This position sounds like a reward for someone who worked on the bond campaign--Our Portland Our Schools. Whoever is hired probably has their name listed at the SOS web under the Portlanders for Schools PAC.

Meanwhile, classrooms will receive minimal upgrades and much of the budget is being gobbled up by project managers and consultants. For example, at Laurelhurst School our "science lab" is just 2 sinks and paint on
existing crummy cabinetry -- not even electrical outlets so we can refrigerate ice for science experiments. Not exactly a 21st century learning environment and it will have no impact on educational outcomes. Ironically, an Atlanta-based firm is managing the bond, so they are not even local jobs. As PPS faces a $16M shortfall, it provides little comfort
that Deputy CFO Wynde has a degree in social work, background in public relations, and approved a pay scale increase that cost high school students 3 weeks of instructional time. A good auditor needs to go through Blanchard with a machete. Perhaps PDC can redevelop Blanchard in conjunction with a Central Admin reorg and remove true "blight" from the City.

I am tired of slick campaigns used against us paid for by us!

Isn't sad that key services are under-staffed
(jails, road maintenance, parks, courthouses) while there are funds to pay PR flacks? The flacks at PPS & BPS are slick, slick, slick and they do the public a disservice.

Fire all the PR people. That would make a great impression on me!

I hear TriMet has about 50 folks that are already trained in "Construction Public Relations" that would be perfect for the PPS job.

David Wynde has a background in banking. Years and years.

The average teacher costs something like $90,000 including health care and benefits.

Just fyi. And I'm not at PPS any more, but thought I'd share a few facts.

Of course they're also going to need a Twitter specialist to manage four or five new project-related feeds. In unrelated news, somebody's unexperienced niece just got fired from her entry-level job.

Can anyone detail for me how many weeks of work (not Spring Break or Winter Break or a dozen plus holidays) a PPS teacher performs for that $90,000???

And does that $90,000 (that supposedly includes health care and benefits) include the tens of thousands of dollars that are paid over time to a teacher as PERS??

Full facts please.

Should we include in that calculation the hours spent after supper at the kitchen table grading papers ?
Developing lesson plans.
Fielding a phone call from a concerned parent.
Because that is what I remember my father doing when he taught school for PPS.

Every working person I know does more hours than they are compensated for - and they don't make top dollar with outrageous health care benefits and retirement - and they don't constantly cry poor and hide behind children to cover their greed, incompetence and complicity in a rigged system that is failing 40% of those they are charged with serving.

Work evenings, weekends, take on the hard problems - that is what work is - and many of these folks at PPS are more than lucky to have it.

Did ya read the editorial in the O today? Beaverton schools are going the PR route too. As a former communications/PR guy myself, enough already! There have got to be folks on staff who can do this stuff.

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