Portland public schools on Tuesday will give community members an opportunity to participate in the district’s 2024-25 school year budget process.

The public forum on the budget will begin at 6 p.m. at Casco Bay High School. The meeting will also be accessible via Zoom and Facebook Live.

The forum will include a presentation of the 2024-25 school year budget process and history and leave time for the public to provide input or ask questions.

Like other school districts around Maine and the nation, Portland’s budget season is likely to be challenging as it grapples with inflation, lower student enrollment and the end of federal COVID relief money.

In a recent presentation to the City Council, Portland School Board Chair Sarah Lentz said the district’s budget is facing a $10 million deficit.

The district is also coming off a year of financial turmoil in which it failed to pay hundreds of its employees correctly and on time, leaving some struggling to pay for basic expenses and leading to the resignation of then Superintendent Xavier Botana. The district has since outsourced payroll to a private company.

At the same time, the city is also facing a difficult budget next year, with a $20.3 million budget gap that could raise taxes by as much as 9.5%.

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