July 26th, 2010 | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Schools

Portland Public Schools Releases Central-Office Cuts

PPS Central Office Cuts
Portland Public Schools has released the details of Superintendent Carole Smith's plan to reduce spending at the district's central office. Those cuts (released Friday and posted above) will save $3 million a year and are part of a $13 million reduction in spending due to statewide budget cuts.

The school district's general counsel would not provide a list of the proposed cuts until after the School Board signaled on July 19 that it approved of the superintendent's plan for filling a $19 million budget gap. Smith's plan called for eliminating 38 existing positions from the special education department and 62 teaching jobs across all grades.

Her plan also relied on $6 million in federal stimulus funding that appears increasingly unlikely to come through. That means PPS will likely be scrambling to make additional cuts soon; school starts in about six weeks. Among the possible options if that happens are cutting more teachers or slashing school days from the calendar. (That last option would require approval from the teachers union.)

At the central office, PPS will lose 27 full-time positions. But it's not as though 27 people will be losing their jobs; many of the eliminated posts were already vacant. The deputy superintendent for region four, Charles Hopson, left the district for Arkansas this summer; the student voice coordinator, Pat Thompson, is the new principal at Access; and a senior adviser to the superintendent on high schools, John Wilhelmi, recently retired, for example.
 
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