District proposal would add more staff to Portland high schools

PORTLAND, Ore. - A new plan could lead to Portland high school students getting more attention from teachers in the classroom.

A new proposal by Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith would add 41 high school staff positions next year, lowering the student-to-teacher ratio to 18 to 1. The district says the proposal provides enough teachers to offer high school students access to at least seven classes next year.

The proposal is part of the district's plan to increase high school graduation rates.

The district says the additional staff would come from:

  • Use of staff set aside for balancing fall enrollment fluctuations.

  • Reductions or cuts from the strategic investments in the originally proposed budget.

  • Redirection of administrative support in high schools into classrooms.

The total number of full-time high school staff members would increase to 561, up from 520 this year.

The district plans to meet with parents, teachers and principals in the next few months to discuss the current class schedule in high schools and find a better solution to give students more access to teachers.

The proposal does not affect staffing at elementary or middle schools.