By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,593)
Portland voters approved the Portland Public Schools’ $103. million budget for the fiscal year 2017 today. The vote was 921 in favor of the budget and 558 opposed to it. A second ballot question also passed. It asked voters if they wanted to continue voting on the school budget for the next three (3) years. Eight hundred and two (802) voters said they wanted to continue to and 676 voters said they did not.
Portland Interim Superintendent Jeanne Crocker issued the following statement, in part: “Thank you Portland voters for supporting the Portland Public Schools by approving our proposed budget for the 2016-2017 school year. This budget puts students first, values our employees and respects taxpayers. The District is proud to have met these goals despite the fact the budget contains $1.4 million less in state education aid than this year’s budget………This budget is both fiscally responsible and true to the priorities of our community and we’re grateful to Portland residents for recognizing that and supporting the budget.”
Under the former Mayor, Michael Brennan, there was an effort to not hold a special election for the school budget. The cost is high for such elections and the voter turnout is low. However, the effort did not succeed and the city continues to hold elections for the school budget.