May 3, 2013

Portland school budget ignores state proposal

The budget assumes the Legislature will not shift $1.3 million in pension costs to the city's school district.

By Randy Billings rbillings@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Mayor Michael Brennan, however, believes the city could figure out a way to pay for any increased costs passed down from the state without going back out to referendum -- a position that has put him at odds with a city and a school attorney.

If voters reject additional increases or the council chooses not to go back out to referendum, schools would be forced to make deeper budget cuts.

According to an analysis by Mike Wilson, the school's chief finance officer, the district would have to cut an additional 24.6 positions if the state budget passes with the pension changes.

The school board's chairman, Jaimey Caron, said after the meeting that the $98 million budget would have given the district more flexibility and would not have required subsequent referendums.

However, Caron acknowledged the city's concerns over how the schools planned to pay for some additional costs -- particularly the school's use of $1.3 million in surplus funds, which could increase the city's borrowing costs.

"We're all trying to figure out what the state is going to do," Caron said. "There are no easy options."

 

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

rbillings@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @randybillings

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)