More than $700,000 in cuts proposed to Portland school budget

This week, the Portland City Council and School Board will each consider a fiscal year 2013 school budget of $94.2 million, a figure that’s more than $700,000 lower than the budget originally proposed by Superintendent James Morse and given initial approval by the School Board.

Portland Public Schools Superintendent James Morse and School Board Chairwoman Kate Snyder in a file photo. (BDN photo by Seth Koenig)

The cuts don’t on the surface appear to threaten any of the initiatives Morse and the board hoped to move forward in the budget, including an expansion of pre-kindergarten in the city, partially restored funding for adult education and boosts foreign language classes.

The new spending number comes from changes proposed last week by the council’s Finance Committee.

What’s different is that nearly $530,000 in a fiscal year 2013 payment into a $2 million overall investment in technology for the district is being moved into the city’s larger Capital Improvements Plan budget, and another $175,000 in cuts Morse hopes to absorb through lower-than-anticipated health insurance costs.

The council will take up the latest version of the school budget at its meeting tonight, while the School Board will consider the amended version at its meeting tomorrow night.

(Homework reading to bring you up to speed, if you need it:

 

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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.