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School Board Public Hearing on Budget Set for March 22

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School Board Public Hearing on Budget Set for March 22
Posted on 03/15/2016
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The Portland Board of Public Education will hold a first reading and public hearing on the proposed FY 2017 school budget on Tuesday, March 22. The board’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 250 of Casco Bay High School, located at 196 Allen Avenue. Following the meeting, the board will hold a workshop session on the budget.

Also, on Thursday, March 17, the school board’s Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on the budget and vote on recommending the FY17 school budget to the school board. That committee’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the district’s Central Office building, located at 353 Cumberland Avenue.

On March 8, Portland Interim Superintendent Jeanne Crocker presented a proposed budget for the 2016- 2017 school year to the school board. She stressed that her $103.7 million dollar budget proposal keeps the Portland Public Schools on a positive trajectory, putting student learning first, investing in staff and respecting the support of city residents.

“This budget represents the community’s hopes and dreams about the future of our children and also the future of our city, because Portland’s youth are its future leaders, job creators and workforce,” Crocker said.

The budget Crocker proposed also is cognizant of taxpayers. It contains an expenditure increase of $947,924, or less than 1 percent. It also contains strategic reductions to address a projected reduction in state aid to many Maine communities. Portland’s loss was expected to be $2.7 million.

The superintendent’s budget proposal incorporates that projected state funding cut. That would result in the school portion of Portland’s property tax rate increasing by 46 cents or 4.5 percent, adding $46 to an annual tax bill per $100,000 of value.

However, since last week’s budget presentation, state lawmakers and Gov. Paul LePage have agreed to allocate additional education aid to Maine communities, which will lessen the funding shortfall.

To learn more details about the budget, go to the “Budget” quick link on the Portland Public Schools’ website, www.portlandschools.org, or click here.