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TONIGHT, not only was a City Council Veto of the School Board’s Historic Equity Budget beaten (4 votes needed to beat veto), but a STRONG MAJORITY of the City Council ended up voting FOR the School Board’s Budget — 7-2!Reversing City Councilors’ previous positions — 6 had publicly supported reducing the School Budget by $1.48 million. INCREDIBLENow on to the annual School Budget referendum election vote on June 8th!Thanks to terrific grassroots awareness and public advocacy from so many across the city. Democracy in ACTION. Huge thanks to Superintendent Botana and PPS administrative staff for their dedication and tireless work on behalf of our students, families, school staff and the entire city!And to our School Board, led by Chair Emily Figdor, they worked shoulder to shoulder with the Superintendent to create and refine this terrific School Budget, and then were resolute in their advocacy of it.And to public education stalwart City Councilor Pious Ali, who for years has strongly backed equity focused School Budgets, sometimes as the lone Council member, in the face of multiple City Council vetoes. Additional thanks to City Councilors Andrew Zarro and April Fournier’s outspoken support, as well as City Councilor Tae Chong, whose critical publicly voiced 4th vote of support (at the time) ensured a City Council veto of the School Board could *not* happen. And lastly to City Councilor Mark Dion, for reversing his position after much reflection, and providing the key 5th vote to create the majority needed for passage (Councilor Thibodeau and Mayor Snyder later joined to form the 7 votes in support, but only after they both voted tonight *for* the $1.48 million cut, which was defeated).We’re half way there. Now we need to make this equity School Budget a reality. Vote in the June 8th election and please reach out to your friends and family to do so as well!Bullet list of the equity investments:docs.google.com/document/d/1rIZVPRy3mnXb8O2mi0KPzWgzUFb-s_5TAIt2_JkTPEE/edit?usp=sharing Pious Ali Emily Figdor, Portland School Board, Chair & District 2 Andrew Zarro - Portland City Councilor Portland, ME Public Schools Multilingual & Multicultural Center Portland Public Schools April Fournier for Portland ... See MoreSee Less
6 hours ago ·
Portland Rep. Grayson Lookner - Maine State Rep's bill to close Long Creek, the last youth prison in Maine, and to direct the funds to support the community, has a public hearing Monday at 9 AM. Maine Youth Justice's doc explains how to testify. ow.ly/9stx50EI2xjThis year we have the chance to invest in the future of our youth by closing Long Creek and reinvesting $18 million into community resources. Sign up to testify in support of LD 1668 on Monday at 9am via Zoom. Check out more info on how to testify ow.ly/9stx50EI2xj ... See MoreSee Less
1 day ago ·
Second city council meeting, with another opportunity for public comment on the Portland, ME Public Schools FY22 budget, is Monday, May 10 at 5 PM. Councilors Ali, Chong, Fournier and Zarro are on record supporting the budget as presented by the school board, which leaves equity funding intact and therefore equity initiatives intact. Here's a link to the agenda with Zoom info: portlandme.civicclerk.com/Web/Player.aspx?id=2549We recommend contacting city councilors and the mayor, thanking those supporting beginning equity initiatives in our schools, and asking other councilors and the mayor to support this historic school budget for our city, our schools, our children, and us: email@example.com@firstname.lastname@example.org@email@example.com@firstname.lastname@example.org@email@example.comIf you can speak Monday, great. City council made a big deal about unanimous council support for selling city land to developers (for good cause -- creating affordable housing is good) but it would rock if we managed to garner unanimous city council support for beginning equity initiatives as identified in the school budget. Regardless, this let city council know our collective values are in support of the school board's goals. ... See MoreSee Less
4 days ago ·