School district officials in Portland are recommending setting aside most of $1.7 million in extra state funding for a new stabilization reserve fund and use the rest for hiring ed techs, aiding school-based health centers and restoring program funding that was cut during the budget process.

The Portland school board will vote on the proposal Tuesday at its meeting at City Hall council chambers at 7 p.m. If approved, the proposal will go to the City Council for approval.

Superintendent Xavier Botana is proposing that $1 million be earmarked for a reserve fund “to be used in upcoming budget years to offset any fluctuation in state funding or to offset borrowing for capital needs,” according to the memo prepared for the board.

The remaining $712,351 would be used for various programs, including two ed techs, mentoring positions, staffing a New Arrivals Center and testing for the Seal of Biliteracy that graduates will have on their transcripts and diplomas.

The final state budget included an extra $162 million for education over two years. In the second year, half of the extra education money must be dedicated to tax relief.

Under the final budget, Portland received an increase in state funding, to $16.2 million. Under the governor’s initial proposed budget, Portland would have received $13.5 million.

But the final state budget cut all state funding for school-based health centers, which get grants from the Department of Health and Human Services. The state contract covered $191,000 of the $330,000 budget for health centers at Portland, Casco Bay and Deering high schools, and at King Middle School. The centers provide basic medical care and referrals for students who are unlikely to have other access to a doctor.

Under Botana’s proposal, the school district will provide $145,000 for the health centers.

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

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