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Portland Superintendent Presents $534 Million 'No Cut' School Budget

A bump in state funding and stable funding elsewhere helped Portland Superintendent Carole Smith present a no-cuts budget Monday night in Oregon’s largest school district.

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith

Rob Manning/OPB

Portland schools would add 180 school staff and two days to the school year, under Smith’s budget plan.

It would expand the district’s language programs - in Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese - to four schools.

Smith has supervised six straight years of belt-tightening. She’s grateful to present a $534 million budget that’s $20 million in the black. But she says it’s not a huge expansion.

“The expectation will be greater I think and even the hunger for what people know we want in order to serve our kids the very best we can is way greater than what will actually be experienced in the budget,” Smith said.

Smith says nine schools with shrinking student enrollments will have fewer teachers. But she says those buildings would’ve been hit even harder, if the budget were in worse shape.

It’s next up to the school board to review and approve the budget.

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