PORTLAND, Maine — Members of a Portland committee voted against consolidating Portland and Deering High Schools Wednesday evening after a months-long debate.

The proposal would have sent students in grades 10-12 to Portland High School and students in grades 7-9 to Deering High School, which would have been transformed into a junior high.

Many people in the city had spoken out against the plan, despite a one-time cost savings of $2.8 million. Opponents were outspoken in arguing this savings wasn't large enough to justify the negative effect the consolidation would likely have had on schools.

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The committee decided Wednesday evening to send a report to the school board that will show the work done on this issue without recommending a specific solution. Instead, the committee wants the board to work towards a solution that cuts costs, but that does not jeopardize the current structure of the schools.