Proposal closes schools, cuts teachers district wide
Two historic schools serving minority and economically disadvantaged populations would be closed, and 110 teaching jobs would be eliminated district wide, as part as a proposed budget by Portland School Superintendent Carole Smith.
Smith announced Monday that Humboldt Elementary School, 4915 N. Gantenbein Ave., and the Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy for Young Women, 2231 N. Flint Av e., are recommended for closure next school year because they do not have enough students to provide core academic offerings without a significant staffing subsidy.
The reduction in teaching positions would be made across the district, along with cuts in course offerings, to balance a $27.5 million shortfall in state school support. About 34 central office and administration positions are also planned for elimination.
The Portland School District is also anticipating a $6 million reduction in federal Title 1 monies to high poverty schools.
Smith said the proposed budget maximizes the use of community partners and makes strategic choices, instead of spreading cuts across the board. She said the district is making strong gains in student achievement and will stay focused on academic progress, whatever the district’s funding levels.
“While this budget proposal is incredibly difficult, and our schools will lose effective people and services, we will be responsible for ensuring a quality education for our students,” Smith said.
The superintendent recommends that Humboldt students, a pre-kindergarten through 8th grade school, be transferred into Boise-Eliot School, also a PK-8 program, and the closure of the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, a grades 6-12 program that emphasized math, science and leadership skills along with course offerings for college prep and future careers.
The School Board will hold public hearings on the proposed budget on Monday, April 9 at 5 p.m. at Cleveland High School in southeast Portland and Wednesday, April 11 and 6 p.m. at Roosevelt High School in north Portland.