Portland schools: choose teachers, not pay increases

by Richard Leonetti

The big 12% drop in teachers in Portland School District 1 is directly related to increased compensation. The State support remained the same and the total salary and benefit spending by the District is dropping by less than 2%–it is actually the same as the 2009-10 school year when the recession started.

If you have the same funds and lay off teachers then you must have increased their compensation. In Portland’s case, both salaries and benefit spending were increased.

Our anger should be directed at the School Board for paying the increases and the teachers who chose, in their new contract, more compensation and big layoffs.

The budget numbers for Portland Public Schools salaries and benefits:

2009–2010 salaries and benefits $422 million

2010–2011 salaries and benefits $431 million

2011–2012 salaries and benefits $423 million