PORTLAND -- Playing the xylophone means the world to Lincoln High School student Marco Sanchez.

I express myself a lot in these classes, said Sanchez. Don't enjoy other classes like I do these.

But music classes are on the chopping block after Superintendent Carole Smith suggested cutting 110 teaching jobs.

You could see cuts in band, said district spokesperson Matt Shelby. We'll see how it shakes out in the next couple of weeks.

The school board needs to close a $27.5 million budget gap. Smith has also proposed cutting 34 administrative positions, merging Humboldt and Boise-Eliot schools and closing the Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy for Young Women.

More: Portland schools may layoff 110 teachers

The district faces another challenge, that of redistributing the workload of high school teachers. An arbitrator ruled last week that high school teachers had too many students in their classrooms. The ratio must be trimmed and some teachers given back pay, the arbitrator said.

More: Too many students for some Portland teachers

Hundreds gathered at Cleveland High School Monday evening to sound off on the proposals.

Outdoor School is also on the potential chopping block.

It's a really small program but the impacts are great, said parent Celeste Lewis. Every single sixth grader in the district gets to go.

Lewis begged the school board to save the district's outdoor program. Others fought to keep open the Young Women's Leadership Academy and Humboldt School. Those schools are in danger of closing.

I would just like everyone to stop and think about if this is best for Humboldt School and our children who are largely children of color and poverty, said one parent.

Another recommendation is trimming the staff at the central office by more than 30 employees.

It's a real challenge, addedShelby. Obviously we've been in this process - cut mode - for a number of years now.

The school board is expected to make its final decision in mid May.

Read or Share this story: