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Portland Public Schools

Portland, Oregon

501 N. DixonPortland, OR 97227(503) 916-2000

  • Important budget message

    Portland Public Schools Interim Superintendent, Bob McKean

    Portland Public Schools Interim Superintendent, Bob McKean

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    Hello PPS families and staff,

    On April 4 I presented my proposed budget for the 2017-18 school year to our School Board. I want to make sure you know what our spending priorities are, and what they will mean for you and your PPS student or students.

    This is a budget of difficult choices. We made extra cuts to central administration to prioritize direct services for students, but we still must make some painful cuts to our schools. Although the cuts will affect each school differently, they will be noticeable. This proposed budget is the first step in a long process, and we will be seeking your input and engagement as we manage this difficult fiscal climate.

    First, a little background. State revenues, while rising, are not enough to fully support our K-12 schools. Although the Oregon Legislature won’t approve a final state budget until sometime in July, we must produce a balanced budget using the best information we have. Based on what the governor and state lawmakers have recommended to date, we must assume state funding will be well below our current service level, prompting us to plan for $18 million in general fund cuts. I will also continue to voice my concerns to lawmakers and the Governor in Salem and encourage you to do the same.

    To minimize the impact on classrooms and student outcomes, I am proposing significant cuts to PPS central administration and leaving many vacant positions unfilled to keep as much funding as possible in our schools. Our priorities in this proposed budget are:

    • Equity – working to continue to close the racial achievement gap for our students.
    • Student learning and achievement.
    • Student health and safety – ensuring that our students are physically and emotionally safe in our schools.

    Even with cuts, you will see that these priorities are reflected in where we have redistributed resources to keep making advancements in these key areas that are critical to student success. Specifically, my budget calls for reinvesting:

    • $1.3 million directly for schools
    • $3.4 million to backfill lost federal and state grants for PE, mentors, other programs
    • $2.2 million to support literacy curriculum, assessment and counselors districtwide
    • $4.3 million to support safe and healthy facilities in our schools

    More details can be found in the Powerpoint presented to the Board, or in the full budget.

    We want to hear from you about how we allocate PPS dollars. Please consider attending one of these upcoming Board listening session:

    April 11 – 6 p.m., Madison High School, 2735 NE 82nd Ave., Portland, OR 97220.

    April 25 – 5 p.m., Blanchard Education Service Center, 501 N. Dixon St., Portland, OR 97227

    May 9 – 5 p.m., Blanchard Education Service Center

    The Board will hold a budget work session May 23, with final adoption expected in June.

    We need your help and your input so that we can develop a budget that reflects PPS values and priorities even during times of reduced resources.  Together, I believe we can develop a budget that advances our top priorities as a district and ensures our students leave PPS prepared for college, careers and life.

    Thank you.
    Bob McKean, Interim Superintendent