A reduction in health care costs shaved about $500,000 off the proposed Portland School District budget, lowering the amount that will have to be raised with local taxes, school board members said Tuesday.

The proposed $101.7 million budget for the 2014-15 school year has no reduction in staffing. It is 3.6 percent higher than the current $98.3 million budget.

No one spoke at a public hearing Tuesday night at the school board meeting.

The final budget figures could still change since the revenue from the state subsidy, projected at $16.8 million, is an estimate. The precise amount of the state subsidy will not be established until a state budget is passed at the end of the current legislative session.

The amount to be raised by taxes is $77 million, which would increase the schools’ portion of Portland property tax rate by 2.5 percent. That would add about $50 to the annual tax bill for a home with an assessed value of $200,000.

Last year, the district had to cut 36 teachers. The district employees about 700 teachers and 60 administrators for the nearly 7,000 students in 16 schools.

Since 2009, the district has eliminated more than 100 positions while state and federal funding has been reduced by millions.

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


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