Portland Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk is proposing a $102.8 million school budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, a 1.2 percent increase over the current budget.

The budget reflects a drop in state funding of almost $1 million, based on Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed state budget, which is being debated in Augusta.

“This budget is modest and austere,” Caulk said at a School Board meeting Tuesday night. “I wish it could be more bold.”

The budget includes money to pay for two previously grant-funded teachers at East End Elementary School. It does not add or cut any positions. It also includes funds to expand a new Spanish immersion program, to allow the initial kindergarten class to continue with immersion in first grade, while adding a kindergarten class.

The proposed budget would increase the school portion of Portland’s tax rate by 23 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, adding $46 to the annual tax bill for a $200,000 home.

Caulk said the governor’s budget would cut the district’s budget by $920,000, or 6.5 percent. The district also is still adjusting for the added cost of funding teachers’ retirement, a change made two years ago by the LePage administration.

Without those two state-directed actions, Caulk said, the tax rate increase would have been zero.

“We’re doing our part,” Caulk said. “We need (the state) to be a partner in this endeavor, and stop shifting this burden to local taxpayers.”

The district did benefit from a proposal by the governor to change the way charter schools are funded, spreading the cost across the state instead of having school districts pay when their students go to charter schools. Portland reduced its expenses by $260,000 under that change.

Earlier Tuesday evening, a public hearing was held on how the district would add 20 minutes to the school day, and the plan to use Metro buses to transport high school students.

A few parents spoke out against the Metro proposal, mostly because they were concerned about safety.

John Kilbride said the streets in his neighborhood were narrowed recently as a calming measure, and that puts traffic closer to walkers.

“This is a great concern to me, that kids will be in the street,” said Kilbride, who has a son attending Portland High School. “You are the guardians of my child’s safety. We need to look at that.”

The School Board gave a first reading to the proposed calendar changes and will take the matter up again at its next meeting.