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PDX Update

EDUCATION

Budget forums set

The Portland school district will play host to five public forums during the next two weeks to get input on its options for cutting next year's district budget.

School district leaders say the district faces a budget shortfall of $27 million to $50 million next year, caused in part by cost increases in various employee benefits and by funding cutbacks from the state.

Among the budget-cutting options school leaders are considering: laying off teachers and thus raising the student-teacher ratio to as high as 40-to-1; closing four elementary schools Ñ Brooklyn and Edward in Southeast Portland, Meek in Northeast Portland and Rieke in Southwest Portland; and eliminating or cutting funding for high school athletics and other extracurricular programs.

The 6:30 p.m. public hearings are: Wednesday at Roosevelt High School, 6941 N. Central St.; Thursday at Lincoln High School, 1600 S.W. Salmon St.; Feb. 18 at Kellogg Middle School, 3330 S.E. 69th Ave.; Feb. 19 at Jefferson High School, 5210 N. Kerby St.; and Feb. 20 at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, 10301 N.E. Glisan St.

The school board is scheduled to approve a final budget March 17.

BUSINESS

Velvet Dreams scrutinized

A city building investigation has found no reason to shut down Velvet Dreams, the controversial adult entertainment center that recently opened at 2250 E. Burnside St.

Although an inspector from the Bureau of Development Services found that owner Ruby Washington had done some remodeling without the proper permits, they do not pose a safety threat. Washington has been given 30 days to obtain the proper permits or face code enforcement penalties.

Ñ Tribune staff