Portland’s city and school finance committees are scheduled to discuss the school district’s budget at a joint meeting Thursday evening.

School Superintendent Ryan Scallon is expected to give a presentation on the 2024-25 school district budget at the 5 p.m. remote meeting.

The $161 million proposed budget would eliminate nearly 30 positions in the struggling school district and raise the schools’ portion of the city tax bill by 6.85%, resulting in an annual tax increase of $191.25 on a $375,000 home.

District leaders have said they are facing a challenging budget year because of a significant loss of federal COVID-19 funding, inflation and flat state funding.

Thursday’s meeting is the first of two joint finance meetings to discuss the school budget before the school board votes on figures to send to the City Council. The council will then vote on whether to send the budget to voters this summer. Members were also scheduled to discuss the annual audit Thursday, though city and school officials said Wednesday that those discussions have been postponed until April 4. Neither provided a copy of the audit when asked.

The City Council is working through its own budget challenges. The city side of the tax rate faces a possible 9.5% increase next year, though councilors have said they hope to lower that to 7%.

Portland’s overall property tax rate is the average of the municipal and school tax rates. This budget year, property owners saw a 5.9% tax increase, the average of the city’s 6.1% increase and 5.7% from schools.

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