As a parent who is actively involved at Ocean Avenue Elementary School, I see every day what an amazing job our teachers and schools do for our children. According to state data, Portland Public Schools currently spend less per student than most of the surrounding suburban communities, yet they are among the top performers in the entire state. Everyone involved in our school system is already doing an outstanding job with minimal resources.

I believe it is imperative that we come together as a city to support our schools to the fullest extent possible, and that’s why I support Superintendent Xavier Botana’s proposed budget.

As a small-business owner here in Portland, I work with a wide range of clients, many of whom have moved here, just like I did in 1999, because it’s a great place to live, thrive and raise a family. Artists, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs and hundreds of others have come here for that reason.

The state has decided that we can pay more for our own schools because our city property has risen in value so much so quickly.

A substantial piece of that value lies in the value of our school system; it’s a major reason that so many people have come here, and it’s a substantial reason why families stay in the city and do not move out to the suburbs to raise their kids. Our schools are the heart of our city.

Superintendent Xavier Botana has proposed a $113 million budget for fiscal year 2019, which would increase property taxes for the average Portland household by about $20 a month. As a homeowner, parent, businessperson and human being, this seems to me to be a truly minute investment given all that we will gain in return.

Chris Dingwell


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