The Portland Board of Public Education is recommending adoption of a $117.8 million budget for the next school year, a spending plan that would preserve current staff and programming, expand the pre-kindergarten program and add staffing to support students with behavioral and emotional challenges.

Board members voted unanimously Monday to endorse the measure for fiscal year 2019-2020, which starts July 1.

“I’m proud of the budget we approved,” board Chairman Roberto Rodriguez said in a statement. “I believe the investments we are envisioning will have a positive impact on all Portland public schools families.”

Rodriguez said the board will present its budget to the City Council on April 22. The council’s Finance Committee will review the proposal on April 25 before making its recommendation to the full council.

The council will hold a public hearing on the education budget on May 6, with a final vote set for May 20. Portland residents will then be asked to approve the budget in a citywide referendum June 11.

Only a handful of people turned out for a public hearing on the budget proposal earlier this month.

The $117.8 million proposal represents an increase of $7.2 million, 6.6 percent, over the current school budget. If approved, the new budget will increase the annual property tax bill for the average home in Portland – valued at $240,000 – by about $145.

The budget also includes replacement of laptops for elementary school and sixth-grade teachers and creates incentives to attract more bus drivers.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

 

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