Parents ask city to keep Portland Parks & Rec preschool program - KPTV - FOX 12

Parents ask city to keep Portland Parks & Rec preschool program

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As the City of Portland considers budget cuts, a popular preschool program run by Portland Parks & Recreation could make the list. 

Parents filled into the Mount Scott Community Center Tuesday night to weigh in on the proposed budget cut.

One parent, Todd Clayton, said he can’t believe it’s even being considered. 

“I really don’t want them to cut it, I really don’t,” said Clayton. "I see it as being a very great advantage to the community.” 

Both of Clayton's kids attended the Parks & Rec preschool program. 

There are 12 community centers across the city that currently serve around 600 students. The ages of the students range from two to five. 

“We couldn’t afford the private preschool, we looked at that,” said Clayton. 

Parents at the community budget forum agree. 

"This is the only thing that we can actually afford,” said parent, Erika Wixon. “We’re on a single income, teacher salary.” 

A spokesperson for Parks & Rec said the department was asked in November to look for ways to cut their budget by 5 percent. The spokesperson said letting go of the preschool program would save the department more than $600,000. 

Tuesday night, parent after parent weighed in. They begged the city to keep their kids in the program. 

“We’re just kind of trying to figure out what kind of message they’re sending to the community by cutting something that is so beneficial to the community,” said Wixon. 

Mayor Ted Wheeler is expected to announce his proposed budget at the end of the month. 

City councilors will have the final say in June.

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