May 7, 2013

School budget headed to Portland voters cuts 49 positions

It also calls for a 3 percent property tax increase to support Portland schools in difficult budget times.

By Randy Billings rbillings@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Kevin Brewster, a Portland resident who teaches at Reiche Elementary School, chided the district for portraying teachers as unwilling to compromise or be partners.

"As a classroom teacher, my budget for classroom supplies has been slashed and then frozen for three years running. I invest my own money for my own students on a weekly basis."

The state budget will not likely be approved until June. If any of the proposed cost shifts are made, the city will have to hold another referendum to increase the budget or make further cuts.

Councilors vowed to work with the schools so they wouldn't have to shoulder the state budget cuts alone.

"It will be a city-school decision," Anton said. "We will have to come together and have really difficult conversations."

Mayor Brennan asked for help from residents to ensure that the state budget cuts don't get approved by the Legislature.

"I hope all of you over the next month and a half will work with me, city councilors and our legislative delegation to make sure we get a positive outcome in Augusta," he said.

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

rbillings@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @randybillings

 

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