Response to “NO” Vote on Question 5 From School Superintendent Botana


Portland Public School Superintendent Xavier Botana, at a Press Conference at City Hall Supporting Question 5.

Superintendent Xavier Botana and Board of Public Education Chair Emily Figdor issued the following statements regarding Portland voters’ rejection of Question 5 in yesterday’s 2022 general election.

The vote was 18,139 votes or 57.6% against that change to the city charter and 13,341 or 42.4% in favor, according to unofficial results from the city clerk’s office.  Question 5 would have given the Board of Portland Education the authority to set the bottom line of the school budget prior to submitting it to Portland voters for ratification.

“I am disappointed that this charter change did not win approval,” Superintendent Botana said.  “I continue to belielve that this change would be best for public education in Portland.  Moving forward, however, the district and Board remain committed to working with the City Council to achieve a responsible budget each year that responds to what our community needs.  We hope that the issues highlighted during the debate on Question 5 will spur councilors to engage with us in that work and seek to better understand the educational implications of the financial decisions they are empowered to make.”

Chair Figdor said, “Meaningful change is hard to make.  Question 5 would have been a game-changer for our schools,  But we’re undeterred in our work to create a more equitable school district, and we’ll do our best advocating for our students and schools with the City Council.  I want to thank the Charter Commission for its hard work – in partdicular to try to better structure our local government to prioritize public education.”