Portland may consider four-day special ed school week if staffing shortage worsens

A lack of ed-techs in Portland schools could hamper the district’s special education programs.
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 11:27 AM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana communicated to the school board in a meeting on Wednesday that he would consider instituting a four-day school week for special education students if current staffing shortage problems worsen.

Botana told WMTW that the district is short about 30 ed techs, which work directly with special education students, out of a normal staff of about 200. He says this makes up about a quarter of district vacancies.

Botana says that the district is not yet at the point where it would institute the change, and says there are other ways it can alleviate the shortage for the time being.

“That’s our last step,” Botana said, referring to the four-day week. “So before that, we have a plan to make temporary reassignments within the district from other positions elsewhere that could help us to prevent getting to that point. So we’d have to be pretty dire for us to get to that level.”

If a four-day week were to be instituted, missed days would be made up at the end of the school year.