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School Budget Vote Is June 11!

The school budget for the next school year goes to Portland city voters on Tuesday, June 11. Please make sure to make your voice heard by casting your vote. Everyone’s participation is crucial in ensuring the best for our schools and students. Every vote counts to get our budget for the 2024-2025 school year approved!

Go to the City of Portland’s Elections & Voting page to learn more and find your polling place.

The FY25 school budget process has been a months-long community effort. During the budget process, which began March 5 with an initial FY25 budget proposal from the superintendent, members of the community, PPS staff, the Board and Council finance committees, as well as the mayor and other councilors, all engaged in multiple public meetings to help the Board revise and enhance the FY25 budget. In the face of daunting fiscal challenges, the budget now before voters is as responsive as possible to the needs of our students, staff and families, while also keeping in mind the concerns of taxpayers.

The City Council, which sets the bottom line of the school budget, voted unanimously on May 20 to recommend the budget approved by the Portland Board of Public Education and send it to voters for a final say in June.

The budget builds off a theme of “Centering Students.” It balances fiscal constraints with strategic funding for increased student mental health, reading support, special education and school climate support at the school level. The FY25 budget also supports increased rigor in the classroom, and maintains funding for athletics, extracurriculars and class sizes.

It's also mindful of Portland taxpayers in the face of unique fiscal challenges for FY25: the loss of about $9.4 million in federal COVID relief funds and other revenues, relatively flat state funding and increasing expenses. The district started the budget process with an anticipated $19.4 million shortfall. Without any cuts, that shortfall would have necessitated a 17.41% increase in the school portion of the tax rate. However, due to strategic reductions and restructuring, the Board’s budget calls for an increase of 6.6% ($0.49) in the school tax rate. For the owner of a $375,000 median-priced home in Portland, this would result in an increase in taxes of $183.75 per year or just over $15 per month.

This year, for the first time, the fiscal year 2025 school budget was presented in a more comprehensive manner, with all revenues and expenses presented, not just those in the local budget.

The FY25 budget totals $161.4 million, a reduction of about $1.7 million from the total overall FY24 budget of approximately $163.1 million. The FY25 budget consists of $154 million in the local part of the budget, with $7 million in non-local funds, such as grants and federal Title funds. The FY24 budget consists of a local budget of $144 million and $19 million in non-local funds. The Council on May 20 voted to approve the $154 million local part of the FY25 budget and send it to voters.

Mayor Mark Dion praised the efforts of Superintendent Ryan Scallon and the Board to work collaboratively with the Council in developing the school budget, saying they functioned as “true partners in the process.” Councilors voiced similar remarks, including Councilor Anna Trevorrow, chair of the Council’s Finance Committee. “I think education is the greatest community asset that we have and returns the greatest value,” Trevorrow said.

The FY25 budget is a zero-based budget. The district did not roll forward its previous budget. Instead, the budget was started with zero and a new budget was built, looking at both staff and non-personnel and ensuring that they align to the district's emerging strategic plan.

To address the fiscal challenges, the budget includes sizable reductions. “While necessary, those cuts are painful, and we will feel the impact of each one of them,” Board Chair Sarah Lentz said in her budget memo to the City Council.

“We are grateful to the City Council and the mayor for their unanimous support of this budget,” Lentz and Superintendent Scallon said. “Portland voters have consistently shown at the polls each year that they value a quality public education for our City’s children, and we hope they turn out again June 11 to support this fair and responsible budget.”

Find more details about our FY25 budget on the FY 2025 Budget Page on the district’s website.