PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A dozen preschool programs run by Portland Parks & Recreation could be shut down if proposed budget cuts go through. But parents are ready to make their voices heard at community meetings, including one Tuesday night at Mount Scott Community Center.
The city’s pre-school programs serve about 600 students between 2- and 5-years-old each year. Parents say these programs are actually affordable.
Erika Wixon, who is a stay-at-home mom, has a 4-year-old who goes to a preschool program at Mount Scott in Southeast Portland. She and her teacher-husband pay about $150 per month, which is something they are able to make work in their budget.
“The preschool teacher here is amazing. My kids just absolutely adore her. She’s like a household name,” Wixon told KOIN 6 News. “We’ve just benefitted so much. The thing that we would struggle with was the finances, but this was the most affordable. It fit into our budget, so it was like a blessing.”
A spokesperson for Portland Parks & Rec told KOIN 6 News they don’t want to cut the preschool program — or anything else. However, Mayor Ted Wheeler required city bureaus to prepare a requested budget with 5% in cuts.
For the parks department, that means cutting about $3 million. As part of that, cutting the preschool program would save about $686,000.
This is only a proposal. There is still about 2 months to to in the budget process.