It hasn’t been an easy week at Portland Public Schools. For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Portland School Board voted to close a high school campus. The school board also endorsed bringing needed changes to all our high schools, which will increase graduation rates, close the achievement gap and guarantee every Portland student a well-rounded education at any of our neighborhood schools.
This past week I heard from hundreds of people upset about the loss of their school. For me, proposing to close Marshall was a heart-wrenching decision, but a necessary one. A decade-long enrollment decline — driven by Portland’s changing demographics — has drained more than 2,500 students from our high schools. Coupled with a shrinking state investment in education, we simply do not have the dollars to provide a rich, well-rounded high school education to students on all our current campuses.