PORTLAND – The Portland City budget released Thursday includes funding to maintain education reforms and prevent deeper teacher layoffs, Mayor Sam Adams said.
The plan includes $5 million for Portland Public Schools and $2.5 million in funding for other Portland school districts, including Parkrose, David Douglas and Centennial. Adams explained that most of this money would come out of the city’s general fund.
“Education is a fundamental element that we must improve on. My proposed budget offers a significant contribution to Portland schools for essential services,” Adams said. “As mayor of this city, I can not allow these awful economic times for our area schools derail the success of the next generation of this city's citizens.”
PPS had put 110 teaching positions on the chopping block due to budget cutbacks, but Adams’ plan could save many of those jobs. His budget proposal will still need to be approved by the Portland City Council.
“I deeply appreciate the collaborative commitment of the mayor, the City Council and the Portland Association of Teachers to safeguard our students from this funding shortfall,” PPS Superintendent Carole Smith said Thursday. “We all recognize the shared sacrifices of our hard-working staff. This is a one-year solution, which underscores our need to work together to find a long-term answer that delivers adequate and permanent funding for our schools.”
She explained that a tentative agreement by the Mayor’s office, the Portland Association of Teachers and PPS would also maintain a full school year for students.
Smith said full details of the agreement will not be formally released until a vote by members of the Portland Association of Teachers.