Education

 Well-funded schools help ensure our kids and grandkids have the skills and experiences they need to succeed and contribute to society, our community, and our economy.  Our schools, students, and teachers need a Mayor who works within the confines of the City Charter, but communicates clearly with the School Board, Superintendent, and state and federal partners to make sure we have every tool and resource at our disposal. 

As a lifelong Portlander who grew up and went to Portland schools, Spencer knows that safe and 21st century schools must be a priority for the city.  As Mayor, Spencer will work with local, state, and federal partners to maximize state and federal dollars to invest in our kids, teachers, and schools while working to ease the property tax burden. 

Early Childhood Education and Literacy

As someone who struggled at a 5th grade reading level in middle school, Spencer knows how important it is that we invest in early childhood education and literacy. Research shows that early childhood education increases opportunities for our kids. 

Priorities:

  • Working closely with the School Board and Superintendent to find new and innovative ways to fund our schools and programs.

  • Working with the business and nonprofit community to start an early childhood literacy initiative that helps at-risk students.

  • Working with the business and nonprofit community to build a fund to help graduates of the initiative to purchase books and supplies for college.

Closing the Digital Access Divide and Ensuring Students can Learn at School and at Home

Technology has become a part of everyday life and is especially prevalent in education. But not every student and child has the same access to high speed internet when they go home after school. Ensuring our students have access to wi-fi will help close the digital access divide, even the playing field, and improve educational outcomes.

Priorities

  • Launching a Digital Equity Initiative to ensure every student has access to high speed internet.

  • Tapping into state and federal programs and funding for digital access and high speed internet.

  • Engaging the business community and Portland residents about municipal broadband.

Fight for Portland’s Fair Share of State Funding.

Portland schools suffered under the LePage administration changes to the school funding formula. With a new administration and strong advocates in Portland’s legislative delegation, we have the tools to continue our efforts for a revised school funding formula that ensures Portland gets its fair share of funding to invest in pre-Kindergarten education, to hire and retain the best teachers, and to renovate and build state of the art facilities. 

PRIORITIES

  • Work with the state delegation to change the state funding formula to increase funds to the Portland Public Schools with a specific focus on equity.

  • Continue the expansion of early childhood pre-K, with state funds.

  • Collaborate with the state delegation to secure benefits for teacher retirement.

  • Working  with the state delegation to pass a local option sales tax with a portion of the levy going towards school funding in Portland.