Fix Portland's crumbling elementary schools NOW

Mayor Ethan Strimling and the Portland City Council

To be a strong city, Portland needs 21st century schools. But Portland hasn't made a major investment in its school buildings in nearly a quarter of a century.

The four elementary schools--Longfellow, Lyseth, Presumpscot, and Reiche--are so old and outdated that students are taught in hallways, broom and mechanical closets, and dilapidated trailers. Noise and extreme heat and cold routinely interrupt learning. The schools lack the infrastructure for modern technology.

The issue is not just about educating our city's children. It's also about developing our workforce, investing in our neighborhoods, broadening our tax base, and ensuring our city is a vibrant community with young families able to help Portland's small businesses thrive.

The state has rejected applications to renovate these four elementary schools three times. It's finally time for the city to invest locally in these schools, while pursuing state funding for the school district's other significant capital needs--namely at the high schools.

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Portland, ME

To: Mayor Ethan Strimling and the Portland City Council
From: [Your Name]

Please send the $64 million bond to renovate Longfellow, Lyseth, Presumpcot, and Reiche to voters to let the people of Portland decide.