I am voting against the proposed Portland school budget Tuesday because the Portland school board has voted 7-2 to dissolve the memorandum of understanding with the Portland Police Department, which, for 20 years, has provided a school resource officer at Deering and Portland high schools. The SRO – an important part of the safety plan for each school that provides positive relationships with law enforcement for students – has been removed without an adequate safety plan for the upcoming school year.

The resolution was rushed and done without proper input from the people it would affect most: students, parents of current students, staff and teachers. Despite the board saying they had been looking at this for a year, it was not revealed to the public until a meeting in the late spring.

If this budget fails, the board will have to amend it and send it back to the voters. Then we can get the SROs back for a year, providing the time to gather the information to improve the position. Let’s pause and do that together.

Madeline Goodman

Portland

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