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Portland Public Schools Committee Closes Key Meeting On Transfer Policies

A Portland Public Schools’ committee charged with recommending major revisions to student transfer policies met Saturday. But the committee shut the public out.

The meeting was described as a special work session to finalize recommendations. District spokesman Jon Isaacs  said closing the five-hour meeting makes it easier for members to debate. 

“They could have conversations that were sensitive among committee members, and they felt that would be easiest done, that they could get the most done, if they had a closed-door meeting,” Isaacs said.

The district contends the meetings don’t have to be public because the committee advises the superintendent, not the school board. However, its preliminary recommendations in June were presented to the board.

Portland Public Schools administration building

Portland Public Schools administration building

Rob Manning/OPB

Parent Jessica Thompson tried to attend the meeting. She disagreed with the decision to keep it closed.

“We need as much transparency as possible in this process,” Thompson said. “At least that’s my belief.”

District officials say the committee is planning an additional public meeting soon.