Committee approves proposed recommendations at PPS boundary meet - KPTV - FOX 12

Committee approves proposed recommendations at PPS boundary meeting

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

It is a plan that could have a big impact for hundreds of Portland Public Schools students, and on Thursday evening, a committee approved recommendations that would change school boundaries. 

About 200 people filled the room for Thursday meeting. Most parents Fox 12 heard from said they are worried about what the changes will mean for their children.

The committee, which is made up of 30 volunteers, has been meeting for a year and a half now. This proposal has been hotly contested by students and staff throughout the district.

The reason for the proposed change is overcrowding. The plan would move hundreds of students to relieve the overcrowding at Chapman, Capitol Hill and Hayhurst elementary schools, as well as Lincoln High School.

Thursday evening, the committee approved nine recommendations that will affect K-8 schools, middle schools and boundaries for schools on the west side.

Before the vote, parents spoke about their concerns.

"We want to create the most effective solution, while impacting and disrupting the fewest families possible,” said Lynn Brown, a Spanish immersion parent at Ainsworth Elementary School.  “This proposal is not that.”

Jeanine Partoby, PTA president at Bridlemile School, said, “The new map is actually more disruptive than any previous scenario. It impacts 40 percent more students on the west side. Parents were irate that the last map impacted 936, but this new map impacts 1,400 children. How can this possibly be perceived as a better solution?"

Parents are also concerned that taking kids away from certain schools will lead to a new problem of under-enrollment, which could lead to valuable programs going away.

"It is unconscionable to burden our students with loss of programs, particularly while the programs at the wealthier neighboring schools remain intact or untouched,” said Tina Oliver, who has a 3rd grader at Hayhurst. 

The district says it understands the concerns, but no matter how they look at it, they are faced with difficult decisions.

Now, the superintendent will review this decision and then present her recommendation to the PPS school board by the end of next month. Then, the school board will be able to review them and make a final vote.

Discussions over boundary changes on the east side will be addressed in the future.

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