Officials vote not to recommend combining Portland high schools

    Officials have voted not recommend a merger of two Portland high schools. (WGME)

    PORTLAND (WGME) – Portland and Deering High Schools will not be merging.

    The Portland school commission tasked with finding a way to save money in the school budget voted unanimously Wednesday night to not recommend "Option 2" to the school board.

    Peter Eglinton, chair of the board, says that option two would have combined Portland and Deering into one high school, and converted the other into a junior high, all to save more than $2 million, but he says each of the options needed more research.

    "The amount of time available to evaluate options has been very short,” Eglington said. “The consultant that has been supporting this effort has said that in other school districts they've had upwards of 18 months."

    Other board members agree, and say the good ideas didn't outweigh the bad.

    "Really the answer is all the ideas are way too disruptive for not enough savings," committee member Ben Grant said.

    Some say the school board won't need this drastic of a measure anyway.

    The school board will meet next week to listen to the recommendation of "not pursuing" any option.

    They could still choose to approve one of the "not recommended" options, but commission members say it won’t be likely.

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