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Budget Toolkit

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Use This Neighbor-to-Neighbor Toolkit to Give Your Input on the Portland Public Schools Budget

The video below shows Portland Public Schools Superintendent Xavier Botana's March 7, 2017 presentation of his recommended $107 million fiscal year 2018 school budget to the Portland Board of Public Education. The board's Finance Committee reviewed that budget and, due to fiscal constraints, recommended a $104.8 million budget proposal that is about $2.2 million less than the superintendent's initial budget proposal but would continue to allow the Portland Public Schools to provide quality services to its students. (Click to see the FINANCE COMMITTEE'S RECOMMENDED FY2018 BUDGET) The school board subsequently voted on April 11 to recommend to the City Council an FY2018 school budget of $105 million, adding $200,000 to the Finance Committee's budget of $104.8 million to pay for school crossing guards. The city recently moved that expense out of its budget. (View the SCHOOL BOARD'S RECOMMENDED FY2018 BUDGET) The school board presented its budget to the council on April 24 and the council held a public hearing on the school budget on May 1 and voted to approve it on May 15. The budget went to Portland voters on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. Voters approved the school budget.
See the suggested budget discussion plan below.


Plan a time to gather with a group of friends, co-workers, neighbors or family members.  This could happen at a PTO meeting, over a meal or in your living room. You also are welcome to review the materials on your own and provide your input.                      


Next, review the video above on the superintendent's recommended FY2018 budget. Also, check out a couple visual snapshots regarding the current FY2017 school budget to help understand the sources of revenue and spending priorities in the school budget. One chart provides a broad overview of the revenues that fund the Portland Public Schools budget and the other chart provides an overview of the major expenses. Then, consider these overarching four goals that are part of the district’s new Comprehensive Plan as you discuss the district's FY2018 budget. The goals are:

• Achievement: All Portland Public Schools students will be prepared for college and career and empowered to pursue a productive postsecondary path.

• Whole Student: All Portland Public Schools students will develop the skills, habits and mindsets they need to engage in and contribute to our diverse city and ever-changing world.

• Equity: The Portland Public Schools is vigilant in supporting each and every student's particular path to achieving high standards, rooting out systemic or ongoing inequities.

• People: The Portland Public Schools attracts, supports and retains talented and diverse people who use their strengths to achieve our shared goals.


Appoint a discussion leader and a note-taker, then begin discussing the budget. Be sure everyone has a chance to speak. It's fine to focus on the areas that matter most to you. Here are some possible questions to get you started:

  • What do you consider the most important parts of our core academic program?
  • How can we best stimulate progress for struggling learners, high-achievers and those in the middle?
  • What innovative programs in the district do you value most?  What new programs should be added?
  • What infrastructure improvements do you consider most important?
  • Given funding constraints, how can we reallocate resources to best meet the needs of our students?
  • If we have to cut the budget, where should we start?
 pic Email your notes and questions to Communications Coordinator Tess Nacelewicz at nacelt@portlandschools.org. Please include the name of the host and contact information, but you don't need to name other participants. All notes will be shared with Superintendent Xavier Botana and the Portland Board of Public Education in crafting a final FY2018 budget. 

Pie chart of FY17 funding sources
Pie chart of FY17 expenditures