Portland Public Schools not affected by government shutdown. Yet.

Like most every organization that uses federal resources in its everyday life, Portland Public Schools announced Wednesday it wouldn’t immediately feel pain as a result of the ongoing federal government shutdown. If this political gridlock drags on, though, things get somewhat less comfortable.

As I reported yesterday (click here), and my colleague Nick McCrea reported today (click here), local government entities and welfare programs that rely on federal funding mostly say they’ll be OK for two-to-four weeks, using carryover funds from the previous fiscal year.

By November, though, all sorts of programs for low-income folks — like LIHEAP, WIC and TANF — will be jeopardized or cut out entirely.

Those in the education field are not exempt from this delayed pain problem, according to an announcement today from the Portland Public Schools. It said, in part:

The shutdown of the federal government is not having an immediate impact on the Portland Public Schools, but that could change if the Congressional impasse over funding continues.

The district receives money from several federal grants, but most of that money already has been committed or it is exempt from the shutdown. Special education funding, Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) funding and the Perkins grant that supports career and technical education are approved and funded. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it will continue to fund the school meals program through October.

The district submitted a Race to the Top grant application on Oct. 1.  While that program is funded through Dec. 31, it is unclear whether processing of grant applications could be affected by the shutdown. The U.S. Department of Education, which oversees the program, has furloughed 94 percent of its employees and stopped most operations.

The Portland Public Schools could be affected by a prolonged federal shutdown.

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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.