PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland School Board met Tuesday night to talk about the pros and cons of reconfiguring the district's eight elementary schools.
Some arguments are financial because the district is facing a more than $6 million shortfall. One option would create four primary schools for students in pre-K through grade 2 and four intermediate schools for students in grades 3, 4 and 5.
A study committee said it could save between $660,000 and $780,000 a year because fewer classrooms would be needed. They said the plan would allow the district to preserve and grow programming focused on shrinking so-called 'opportunity gaps,' and by broadening diversity in the classrooms.
Parents in attendance had their concerns about the reconfiguration and said they want to see options that will be better for the school in the long run.
Concerned parent Karina Magee told NEWS CENTER Maine, "This is just a band-aid and a short term solution. I think people are going to continue wanting to move here and raise their families here. So really if we want to start to reconfigure schools, thinking that our enrollment is not growing, I think that is going to cause greater problems in the future."
Changes in sports programs are another potential area for saving money. That option will be discussed at a later date.