Portland Schools Superintendent Plans 35 Job Cuts

Portland Public Schools Superintendent, Guadalupe Guerrero announced Monday a number of organizational changes at the district’s central office. The changes, which are the result of budget and strategic planning for the 2018-19 school year, include the elimination of approximately 35 current positions, as well as the closing of previously open positions and the realignment and consolidation of a number of departments.

“Six months ago, the Board of Directors and the Portland community entrusted in me the privilege and responsibility to build and transform a public school system that guarantees equitable access, opportunity, and outcomes for all of our students,” Guerrero said. “In planning for the 2018-19 school year, given the inadequate resources available to PreK-12 public education in Oregon, we are faced with the real challenge of  balancing a budget, while ensuring we can perform our core services to schools, and prioritize efforts aimed at improving student outcomes. This includes an attempt to minimize any impact to schools and prioritizing the implementation of an equitable school staffing model. As a result, we have realigned a number of our central office functions and made a number of staff reductions at the district office so that we can close the budget gap while concentrating our focus on support for schools and educators that is more squarely student-centered and equity-focused.” 

Guerrero said that reorganizing the central office was necessary to protect high-priority areas such as school staffing and the district’s racial equity priorities. Among the organizational changes: elimination of several senior-level leadership positions, along with elevating school-facing leadership positions, including a Chief of Schools position and Area Assistant Superintendent roles to help drive school capacity-building efforts. 

These changes come as PPS’s internal 2018-19 budget planning process results in a proposed budget to the Board of Education. Superintendent Guerrero is scheduled to the district’s proposed budget and priorities with the Board of Education at the next regular meeting on Tuesday evening. That meeting will begin the six-week, public-facing budget comment period.

Source: Portland Public Schools

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