Oregon School Let Parents Bid On Their Child's Next Teacher

By Bill Galluccio

March 15, 2019

An elementary school in Portland, Oregon is facing a wave of criticism for hosting an auction where parents got to bid on the right to choose their child's teacher in the fall.

The Markham Elementary School PTA released a statement explaining that the decision to let parents have a chance to bid on the right to pick their child's teacher was made by volunteers running the auction. They checked with the school's principal who approved the idea moments before the auction was set to begin.

The annual auction raised $52,000 for the school, with $1,300 coming from six parents who won the right to choose their child's next teacher. Not everybody was happy that the school allowed parents to pay money to handpick which class their child would be in next year.

“This is obviously a horrible lapse in judgment and just outrageous to everyone,” Portland Association of Teachers President Suzanne Cohen told KGW8.

Portland Public Schools spokesman Harry Esteve issued a statement saying that the school has returned the money to the parents.

"The principal realizes that she made a spur-of-the-moment mistake by agreeing to a request to allow families to bid on specific teachers for their students, and she has apologized to her staff. The PTA, which hosted the auction, also has apologized and returned the money.”

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