PORTLAND — With approval from city councilors Monday, Portland Public Schools’ $119.86 million budget for the next school year is ready for voters July 14.

The budget, unanimously approved by the council June 15 and by the Portland Board of Education May 26, is up $2.5 million, or 2.1%, over the current year’s budget, but does not increase the tax rate.

Councilor Nicholas Mavodones, who chairs the council’s finance committee, said he was glad the budget did not require a tax increase, especially this year, but that he knows it hasn’t come without pain to the school district.

In a letter to councilors, School Board Chairman Roberto Rodriguez said the budget is “our best approach to balancing the needs of our students with the economic uncertainties brought on by the COVID-19 crisis.”

Because of the uncertainty around how COVID-19 was going to impact the district, Superintendent Xavier Botana pulled back his original $122.3 million fiscal year 2021 school budget. He eliminated a planned reconfiguration of the elementary school grade levels and investments in pre-kindergarten transportation, English Language Learning supports, special education caseloads, adult education staffing and the district website.

Retained in the approved budget were the addition of two pre-kindergarten classrooms, a new elementary school math and literacy curriculum and increased services, especially at the high school, for students on the autism spectrum.

Reductions in the budget include the elimination of the fourth and fifth grade Spanish program, adjustments to high school staffing, reductions at central office/operations, a 6% cut in athletics/activities spending and a 3% cut in the supply budget. Work is ongoing to reduce the budget by $400,000 by possibly renegotiating cost-of-living adjustments with the district’s labor union or decreasing expenses for staff training/travel, repair and maintenance, software and professional development.

The budget also includes $140,000 for school resource officers at Deering and Portland high schools, something the Black Lives Matter movement and others in the community want to see removed. The school board was expected to hold a workshop on discontinuing the school resource officer program Tuesday, after the Forecaster’s deadline. Botana said he expects a final decision on the resource officers at a special meeting June 30.

Councilors thanked the school board and school leaders for the work they put in to produce a budget that didn’t impact taxpayers, but said there are concerns about the level of federal funding in the spending plan.

The district was awarded $1.9 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, $1.3 million of which is being used in the 2020-2021 school year budget to cover the cost of custodial services.

Cumberland Avenue resident Steven Scharf said he is concerned what using that funding for the 2020-2021 budget will mean for future budgets.

“That money is going to go away after this year. We are going to be looking at a very large hole based on that,” he said.

“While it is not out of the question, we cannot rely on additional infusions of federal funding to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, Rodriguez wrote. “That could mean a notable shift of costs from CARES back onto the general fund in (the fiscal year 2022 budget).”

Although Mavodones supports the budget, he shares the concern about future years’ budgets, saying he is committed to not waiting until next year’s budget deliberations to address the potential funding gap.

“If we keep that conversation open … I think we can best serve our community,” Mayor Kate Snyder said.

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