I strongly support Superintendent Xavier Botana’s budget proposal for the Portland Public Schools. We need stronger, better-funded schools in Portland, not weaker ones.

A great benefit to living is Portland is having neighborhood schools and school choice for middle and high school. My own family has greatly benefited from both of these policies. Being able to walk to a neighborhood elementary school is one of the reasons we chose to live (and stay) in Portland. Both of my children chose to attend middle and high school outside the neighborhood, with resulting satisfaction and success.

School consolidation is not the answer. Studies show that students perform better in smaller school communities and in schools that are within walking distance of their homes!

Frankly, I don’t mind a bigger increase in property tax to better our schools. We want to keep attracting interesting and talented people to Portland and retaining them rather than having them move to Falmouth or Cape Elizabeth for the schools there.

Catharine Scruggs

Portland