Earlier this week, I was at a class with the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors (PMAR) and we briefly touched on the subject of a potential redrawing of boundary lines for Portland public schools. This piqued my interest and led me to do a little research on the situation, although I haven’t learned enough yet to really form my opinion. I wanted to share some of the basic facts I’ve learned over the past couple days and give some insight into what this might mean for future home buyers.
Here are some of the facts I’ve gleaned over these last few days:
Portland Public Schools (PPS) and the District-Wide Boundary Review Advisory Committee (DBRAC), a community of 26 parent, teacher, principal, administrator and technical expert volunteers, have come together to make a decision about redrawing boundary lines for schools in the district.
The committee will send final proposals to Superintendent Carole Smith in early December and a final proposal from her will go to the school board in January 2016. Changes to any boundaries will begin in Fall 2016.
The project is meant to reconfigure and right-size schools, as well as account for the projected 5000 student population growth over the next 10 years.
While all boundary lines are being looked at and considered, not all lines will necessarily change.
A huge issue stems from how much socioeconomic status should be considered when discussing these boundary lines, and how successful it will be in closing the achievement gap between students from higher and lower income families. It’s not hard to see that schools in typically lower-income areas are affected by the lack of resources. A great map shows the lack of equity in electives across the city’s middle schools.
So what does this mean for us? Right now, the best thing we can do is stay informed on what’s going on. The best resource for how DBRAC is progressing can be found on the PPS website. In mid-October, proposals will be released to the community for feedback. There will also be community meetings throughout October and November where the public can learn about the possible changes and comment on them. We will also have the opportunity to share thoughts and comments through online survey as well as on Facebook and Twitter. I strongly encourage anyone who has an opinion on this matter to make it to one of these meetings (the next one is Oct. 1).
If you’re currently looking for a new home, be aware that the current assigned school may not be the one assigned next school year. Schools on a listing can only be deemed accurate at the time of publication. If a house is specifically admirable because of the school your kids would be going to, make sure to do some research to figure out the likelihood you’ll still be zoned for the same school. If you need specific information about where your children will go to school or if a boundary will change, contact the PPS Enrollment Office at 503-916-3205.