News & Events
The $141.3 million Portland Public Schools superintendents’ recommended school budget for the 2023-2024 school year has three key priorities: It maintains the district’s commitment to its Portland Promise goals of Achievement, Whole Student and People – all centered on the fourth goal of Equity; is responsive to the needs of all students, especially students newly learning English; and improves operational effectiveness in such areas as finance and human resources. The FY24 budget balances challenging fiscal constraints, including a significant reduction in state aid and inflation, with increased costs to support staff and students, while being cognizant of taxpayers. It would increase the school portion of the tax rate by 7 percent, adding about $15.60 per month to the tax bill of the average homeowner.
The Spinglass Management Group has completed its audit of the Portland Public Schools’ payroll practices and issued a report. The report reflects many of the payroll problems – with systems, staffing and processing – that the district has already shared since the beginning of its payroll issues this fall. The report also details significant strides the district has made to stabilize systems, enter into an agreement to outsource payroll functions, and increase payroll staffing. Additionally, it outlines the work the district continues to do to resolve outstanding concerns.
Three Portland Public Schools nurses recently earned the National Certification in School Nursing (NCSN) credential, which is a validation of specialized knowledge and expertise as a school nurse. Nell Bridger, Presumpscot Elementary School nurse; Shirah O’Connell, East End Community School nurse; and Elizabeth Spaulding, a nurse at Rowe Elementary School, are among 30 Maine school nurses who recently completed their NCSN certification, a nationally recognized standard for providing excellence in school nursing care.
After more than five years of a highly collaborative process with Indigenous advisors from across the Dawnland – of which Maine is a part – the Portland Public Schools has officially launched a Wabanaki Studies curriculum across all elementary schools.
Alma Advisory Group, the professional search firm that the Portland Board of Public Education hired last month to aid in the search for a new superintendent, met with the Board and the Superintendent Search Committee earlier this week. Alma made a presentation as it worked with the Board and the Search Committee to define the scope of the work, the search timeline and community engagement in the search process.
Following the Dec. 16 resignation of Superintendent Xavier Botana, effective this month, the Portland Board of Public Education at its Jan. 3 meeting appointed assistant superintendents Melea Nalli and Aaron Townsend to be interim co-superintendents until a new superintendent is selected by June. Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed, currently co-principal at Deering High School, will take on the role of interim assistant superintendent for the transition. The team will move fully into leadership after Jan. 13.
Portland Board of Public Education Chair Sarah Lentz presented the 2022 State of the Schools address to the City Council and the public on Monday, Dec. 19. The City Charter requires that the Board chair deliver an annual address to the Council on the state of the public education system in Portland.