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Happy October to all our PTA members and leaders!

Technology is a way of life for most of us. With the use of technology comes some risks and responsibilities. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and we've got some great tips for families about protecting your kids online, preventing identity theft and insulating kids against online bullying with digital citizenship tips. Our section on advocacy gives you some answers to questions we hear frequently about Measure 97. We also have a new resource for schools that want to work on earthquake safety. and invite PTA leaders or other interested parents to make contact with Susan Romanski. At the bottom of our newsletter, PTA Officers will find information specific to their roles in PTA and opportunities especially for leaders.

Thanks for reading, see you in November!

Member News:

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month:

The opportunities kids have to socialize online come with benefits and risks. Adults can help reduce the risks by talking to kids about making safe and responsible decisions. Cyberbullying is harassment that happens online. It can happen in an email, a text message, a game, or on a social networking site. Read how to help prevent cyber bullying and what to do about it if it is happening to your child.

Kids using a computer to share files, download apps or receive email? The security of your computer can affect the safety of your kids online experience. Talk to your kids about what they can do to help protect your computer and your family’s personal information. Read about computer security, peer to peer file sharing, phishing and apps here.

The Internet is great for learning and entertainment, but it can pose dangers if precautions are not taken. Allowing free, unmonitored access puts your child, your computer and your personal data at risk. Teach your child to be a good digital citizen with these resources.

It seems like everyday the news is reporting about company hacks or compromises to peoples personal information. Have you recently received a notice that says your personal information was exposed in a data breach? Or maybe an online account was hacked? Depending on what information was lost, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft. Find more information here on what you should do.

Protecting your personal information can help reduce your risk of identity theft. There are four main ways to do it: know who you share information with; store and dispose of your personal information securely, ask questions before deciding to share your personal information, and maintaining appropriate security on your computers and other electronic devices. Find more information on reducing your risk here.

Think someone is using your personal information? Watch this video to see how to report it and begin a recovery plan:

As invested members of the parent community, we see each and every day the impact our schools are faced with due to decades of education being underfunded in our state. Our children are in overcrowded classrooms, receiving lower individualized attention and many programs have been cut so that they are getting a basic education at best. Portland Council PTA is confident that Measure 97 is the chance to change that for our students.

M97 has been growing support at the grassroots level with 1,240 endorsements, including over 430 small businesses, over 70 economists and an amazing array of supporters helping us share our message of support for M97.

You might be hearing conflicting or incorrect information about the Measure. Here are some of the frequently asked questions:

I've heard this is a sales tax and I am not a fan of sales taxes.

  • This is an amendment to the tax on sales that corporations are currently paying. They currently pay tax on their sales in Oregon. This measure simply increases the very low tax they are currently paying. Corporations currently pay $30,000 in taxes if they have sales in Oregon of $25 million- $50 million. Measure 97 changes this so that C-corporations who have more than $25 million in Oregon sales, the minimum tax is $30,001 plus 2.5% of the excess over $25 million. Again, this applies only to C-corporations, which are a small percentage of the companies in our state.

Won't raising corporate taxes just force them to pass costs onto consumers?

  • This is a tax on corporations, not consumers. Corporate taxes do not drive consumer prices, competition does. Retailers use national or regional pricing models to set prices regardless of the taxes they pay in an individual state. Studies show that a can of beans at Fred Meyer costs the same as in Idaho and Washington despite the fact that they pay higher corporate taxes in those states.

I've heard that small businesses or Oregon grown businesses will be hurt.

  • Small businesses across Oregon support measure 97 because it makes only corporations with more than 25 million a year in Oregon sales pay.This is the larger, mostly out of state corporations that are currently paying little to no tax to Oregon.

What about the farming community- how are the farming co-ops affected?

  • The current state statute states that if the corporation is an agricultural cooperative that is a cooperative organization described in section 1381 of the IRS Code, that "Oregon sales" does not include sales representing business done with or for members of the agricultural cooperative. This means that agricultural cooperatives are not affected by Measure 97.

This tax will be passed to all Oregon households, costing each home about $600/year.

  • This is not true. That assessment was based on incorrect modeling by the Legislative Review Office.The LRO model was based on incorrect assumptions which included all companies in Oregon with more than $25 million in sales, rather than the companies that will be truly affected. Measure 97 only affects C-Corporations that have sales of more than $25 million in Oregon, but the modeling that was done included all companies. That has since been corrected and you can read all the details at the Oregon Center for Public Policy site about why this won't cost you $600/year.

How do we know that the money will really be spent on health care, schools and senior services?

  • The measure is very clear on how revenue will be spent. Section 3 of the measure states that "All of the revenue generated for the increase in the tax created by this 2016 act shall be used to provide additional funding for: public early childhood and kindergarten through twelfth grade education: healthcare: and, services for senior citizens. Revenue distributed pursuant to this section shall be in addition to other funds distributed for: public early childhood and kindergarten through twelfth grade education, healthcare; and, services for senior citizens.

I've heard that the tax money will go to the General Fund.

  • All tax money collected in the state goes into one fund- no matter what the source. In the ordinary budgeting process, our elected officials then allocate money in the state budget to serve the programs and needs of our state. Currently, education, health care and senior services comprise nearly 80% of our state budget. So additional revenue collected will certainly be dedicated to education, healthcare and senior services. Hiring home care workers, dignity for seniors and making health care affordable and giving our kids what they need in education means a better Oregon. Hiring teachers, nurses, librarians and counselors for places where those jobs sit empty. We will have smaller classes and offer the things like music, art and STEM classes that we know keep students in school and ready for life after graduation.

Thanks for explaining a lot of the misconceptions I've been hearing. How can I help in the final days of the campaign?

  • Please vote- ballots are out now. Please join PTA in voting yes on Measure 97.
  • October 29, 2016: PTA phone bank, at the Yes on 97 Campaign Office, 917 Lloyd Center, Portland (inside the mall) at 10:00 am- 1:00 pm. This event is family friendly- children are welcome to be with you while you call voters.
  • November 3, 2016: PTA phone bank, at the Yes on 97 Campaign Office, 917 Lloyd Center, Portland (inside the mall) at 5:30-8:30 pm. Again children can accompany you to this event.
  • These don't fit your schedule? Sign up to here to help with other opportunities!
Are you Prepared?

In an effort to help communities and schools prepare for the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake that is expected to happen in the NW, Mercy Corps is helping parents and communities in the NW become more prepared by offering preparedness presentations and links to informational and educational resources.

The US Director for Disaster Preparedness & Community Resilience, Susan Romanski, leads this initiative. She has responded to disasters around the globe for Mercy Corps and understands the impacts of this type of event. The initiative is also supported by Mercy Corps staff and volunteers who want to help schools in the NW. The initiative is coordinated with actors such as PPS, Multnomah County, PBEM and the American Red Cross.

If your school would like more information on how to prepare for the Cascadia event or would like to help parents and community members be more prepared, please contact Susan Romanski for additional information.

Leader News:
Leaders- We Need your Help:

We'd love to showcase our PTA's good work! Please participate in promoting your PTA by sending us a blurb and photos from your events. We will showcase you on our social media platforms and in our newsletters. Had a great fall event or fundraiser? Share it with us!
PTA Unit in Good Standing:

The PTA unit in good standing deadline is approaching. All units need to have the required items turned in to Oregon PTA by 11/30/16. How are you doing? Council VP's will be reaching out to you soon to let you know what is still needed to meet the requirement.
Book Harvest:

Last year PTA's helped collect 35,000 books for 4,800 students in Portland Public Schools! There is still time to get involved! This year the Children’s Book Harvest will run from 10/3 through 11/10. Read a letter from the Coordinator and find more information on getting involved.

Leadership Resources:

Follow our Blog here for guidance and information as you lead your PTA.
Consult our website for up to date information and news.
See our Monthly Leadership Checklists here- we currently have President's checklists available and will be adding additional leader checklists soon.

Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter for resources and information you can share with your communities.

Leaders, are you interested in getting involved with PTA at the Council Level? Do you want to further the mission of PTA and help other local units with your knowledge? We are currently accepting applications for Franklin Cluster Vice President and Grant Cluster Vice President positions. If you are interested, please contact Portland Council President, Lisa Kensel via email for more information.

Have you seen our latest blog entry on delegating? Are you an effective delegator? Find some good tips here.
PTA Clothing Center & Student Aid Fund:

The PTA Clothing Center exists to assist PPS students with clothing needs. This is an absolutely vital program for the students who use the service. Last school year, nearly 2000 students were served by an astounding 4500 volunteer hours! Thank you for all your work this year! Questions about how your PTA can help with this vital program, please contact PTA Clothing Center Director, Sharon Meigh-Chang via email. The Clothing Center relies on our PTA's to provide volunteers for your scheduled day. These volunteers do not have to be PTA members- they can be anyone at the school that wants to help out. Find out when your PTA is scheduled to volunteer here.

The PTA Student Aid Fund has a long history, dating back to 1923. It was established to assist students with requests for items necessary for their success, which might not be covered by other services in PPS or via PTA. The Portland Council Student Aid Fund may be used for shoes, eye exams/glasses, necessary class fees and or materials (not tuition) or an emergency bus pass (once per year) and other special needs. The Student Aid Fund will not pay for general school supplies. Clothing requests are funded only after a visit to the Portland Council PTA Clothing Center, or when the student's needs can't be met. Applications are available at each school's office. If you have questions, please contact Jackee Duvall, Student Aid Director for more information.

Every school in PPS last year had students using these worthwhile services, even in the most affluent schools. Both the Clothing Center and the Student Aid Fund rely on PTA and private donations to provide these very necessary services. Please consider earmarking a donation from your PTA this year to assist with these programs. All funds donated go directly to the purchase of clothing and services for students in PPS.
Lisa Kensel
Portland Council PTA
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