On Wednesday, thousands of educators, students, parents and public school supporters took to the streets in the single largest statewide action for students in Oregon’s history.
Rallies and marches were held in Portland, Salem, Eugene, Medford, Bend, Klamath Falls, and dozens of other communities. Schools were closed for all or part of the day in at least 25 school districts.
In Portland, more than 25,000 supporters gathered. Salem’s rally drew over 3,000 people, 1,100 rallied in Eugene, and thousands more at other events around the state.
For those districts and schools not closed, educators staged “walk-ins” before school, wearing red in solidarity or held events before or after school. Altogether, educators from almost every one of Oregon’s 197 school districts participated in the May 8 #RedforEd Day of Action.
The rallies are a call to support a bill being considered by the Oregon legislature. It would create a gross receipts tax on businesses that make more than a million dollars a year.
Republicans in the legislature are opposed to the tax, because of the effect on businesses.
The bill is currently in the Oregon Senate and has been scheduled for a vote since Tuesday. Republican Senators have refused to attend Senate sessions, so there wouldn't be a quorum which stops the vote from being held. Since Republicans are in the minority it's the only thing they can do to stop the bill. Democrats have a super majority and can pass it.