Portland Public Schools to Have Seat at Table in Urban Renewal Expansions
Sarah Carlin Ames, 503-916-3212
Portland Public Schools to Have Seat at Table
in Urban Renewal Expansions:
School Board to vote on agreement with Portland Development Commission Portland, OR, June 9, 2008: For the first time, Portland Public Schools will be assured a seat at the table as the city expands and carries out its urban renewal plans. Urban renewal areas have helped revitalize business districts and neighborhoods, often providing increased livability and expanded economic prosperity to the entire city. At the same time, there is an immediate direct cost to local taxing jurisdictions such as Portland Public Schools.
This year, Portland Public Schools is forgoing $5 million in revenue from 10 of the city’s urban renewal areas, as the increased value of properties is taxed to pay back urban renewal debt rather than flowing to local jurisdictions.
A cooperative agreement between Portland Public Schools and the Portland Development Commission is on the agenda as the volunteer School Board meets Monday. Mark Rosenbaum, chair of the Portland Development Commission, will join the board’s discussion before the vote.
This agreement will open the doors to a new level of partnership, said Board Director Trudy Sargent, chair of the Finance, Audit and Operations Committee. Portland Public Schools and the Portland Development Commission have a common interest in creating a vibrant city. That takes a healthy economy, strong neighborhoods and excellent public schools.
The agreement, modeled on a deal brokered for Multnomah County by Commissioner Jeff Cogen, will allow the Portland School Board to appoint a representative to PDC advisory groups that advise the city and PDC as they create, expand and plan projects in urban renewal areas. The PDC and PPS will consult on the impacts any project will have on schools, will discuss capital investments that may attract families to Portland, and are committed to having conversations about school modernization or new school construction as part of future Westside urban renewal plans.
The PDC is scheduled to vote on the cooperative agreement June 25.
The Portland City Council will decide on three major expansions of urban renewal areas:
Bringing a net of 40 additional acres into the River District urban renewal area (centered on Northwest Portland’s Pearl neighborhood), and authorizing $324.5 million in increased debt to carry out urban renewal projects;
Adding a net of 140 acres to the Lents Town Center urban renewal area in Southeast Portland, and authorizing $170 million more in debt for projects there; and creating an 8.5-acre satellite district in outer Southeast Portland to
build a new elementary school for David Douglas School District, using an additional $19 million in debt from the River District URA. The amendments to the River District and Lents Town Center areas will cost Portland Public Schools $35.3 million between 2014 and 2027, with $1.9 million of that cost for the satellite district alone. (These figures have been adjusted to present value with a 5 percent annual discount rate.) Portland Public Schools does not support the satellite district amendment.
The Portland City Council will consider the amendments and take testimony at its regular meeting on June 18, with a council vote slated for June 25.
Also on the School Board’s agenda Monday evening: Renaming Northeast Portland’s Hollyrood-Fernwood K8 School after Beverly Cleary, the popular children’s author who once attended the school; honoring Jeff Miller at the end of his term as president of the Portland Association of Teachers, and hearing from the Superintendent’s Action Team on accelerating student achievement.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m., Monday, June 9, in the Blanchard Education Service Center at 501 N. Dixon Street.
For more information, the School Board agenda and supporting materials are on-line at www.pps.k12.or.us/.docs/pg/1079 (go to the School Board postings, and click on meetings).
Click to view the agreement between PPS and PDC and supporting
The School Board sets district policy, with seven volunteer Board directors serving the entire district but elected from geographical districts, and one current high school student representative. You may call the Board office at (503) 916-3741, email SchoolBoard@pps.net or find more information at www.pps.k12.or.us. Portland Public Schools
is an equal opportunity educator and employer.