School board passes $94.9M budget that grows Portland pre-K access

Portland Public Schools announced this week the school board has voted in approval of a $94.9 million fiscal year 2013 budget, a spending plan which, if ultimately approved by the City Council and public, would trigger a 3.68 percent increase in property taxes.

For a home worth $250,000, that would add $85.85 to the homeowner’s annual tax bill. The municipal budget could make that number larger.

The $94.9 million school budget on the table doubles the district’s pre-kindergarten capacity, according to the announcement, adds Spanish to the fifth grade curriculum and includes “a major investment in technology.”

Here’s where school board Chairwoman Kate Snyder comes down on things in a statement released by the district Friday:

Kate Snyder

[Fiscal year] 2013 is the first time in several years when the school district will not receive federal American Recovery & Reinvestment Act stimulus funds. Despite that loss of revenue, this budget builds on the work of the past three years and keeps the Portland Public Schools moving forward in improving our curriculum, addressing urgent building needs in our elementary schools and increasing the number of children who can enroll in pre-kindergarten classes.

Here’s an excerpt of the district budget announcement concerning staffing:

During the past five years, the Portland Public Schools has cut staffing by more than 100 positions. The budget approved by the School Board on April 10 would eliminate eight positions in the current budget and add eight additional positions, resulting in no net change in staffing.

This education budget still has a long way to go before it’s official, with Snyder to deliver the school spending plan to the council on April 23, followed by a council vote on the figures on May 7 and a public referendum vote on May 15.

 

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Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.