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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mission Creep Question of the Day

Why is the Portland parks bureau running preschools?

(Follow-up question: Does parks bureau money spent on preschools count as education funding for purposes of Measures 5 and 50?)

Comments (13)

The article says "Supported with tuition, volunteer aid and donations..." Does that mean that Portland parks doesn't actually spend it's own, really our, money on this?

Facilities, utilities, insurance?

Remarkable that the stenogreporter didn't think to ask the "why Parks and Rec"? question...

Water bureau customers are probably subsidizing it.

Wait a minute...this is Portland Parks' 11th preschool!!

"The arts center, a program of Portland Parks & Recreation since 1973, has established the only arts-based preschool among the bureau's 11 preschools. And it is one of the few such preschools in Portland, Walsh said."

At least at the Multnomah Center (I don't know about other PP&R facilities), users are charged rent for space. One hopes the rental charge factors in costs of utilities.

As a city bureau, PP&R self insures through City Risk Management. I don't know whether a portion of the risk management assessment to PP&R for the Multnomah Center is passed along in the rent charge. It should be.

Michael walsh at the Multnomah Center is not your typical city bureaucrat. Very open and approachable. IF you ask him about "insurance", or risk management charges, he'll likely tell you.

As a board member of a different outfit that rented / rents space from Mult. Center, I know our lease requires us to obtain outside insurance coverage with hefty dollar coverages, and name PP&R as one of the benefiting entities. If our coffee pot starts a fire that burns down the building, our insurance coverage protects PP&R.

It's pretty common for parks & recreation programming to include preschool programming in its recreation offerings in many cities. My preschooler goes to a PP&R program and its actually more expensive than others we looked at, but it ties in well with camps and other classes offered so that's why we go there. The center we use (Hillside in NW) had its city subsidy totally taken away over the summer and all classes there now have a surcharge because of the shrinking parks budget (plus spending more on fufu parks in downtown/pearl/sowhat).

What I find odd is why they are opening a new preschool in SW, when they just closed Fulton Park Community Center (also in SW) that primarily offered preschool programming. The reason given by parks for FPCC closing is that it was "under used" (which wasnt true). MAC is very close to SWCC which already offers a thriving preschool program as well. Doesn't surprise me though because everything that comes out of Commissiner Fish and Director Abbate's mouths are lies.

Also, PP&R has operated preschools for atleast 30 years that I know of, and maybe even longer. I don't see the big deal, as parks offers after school camps for school aged kids, teen activities, swimming lessons, music, cooking, sports classes, adult classes, senior programming....

NoPoGuy - All of the things you list sound like things you logically do in Parks (swimming, camps, sports) or they are Recreation (as in hobbies, arts and music, or for seniors.

The name 'pre-schools' implies early childhood education. I have nothing against public or private or non-profit co-op preschools but it seems like public childhood education is we have a school district for: running the schools. And (of course) PPS already have their own Pre-kindergarten schools. So the not so big deal is why does PP&R have a separately administered and funded bunch of pre-schools?

Libraries do activities for kids too but they don't run schools (yet). Kids drink water, maybe the water bureau should start some pre-schools too?

And (of course) PPS already have their own Pre-kindergarten schools.

Don't conflate pre-K with preschools. Different things, different populations served.

The pre-k programs done through the school district and ESD's are very limited and not available to most people. They are a totally different thing. Seriously, what is the problem with a parks department providing preschool?!

I guess parks should stop teaching kids how to swim then too...because educating kids in anything is obvilosly not PP&R's mission. I suggest people should educate themselves on what an actual recreation program is.

I'm still not reading this as PP&R offering pre schools.

All I see is PP&R renting out space. No big deal.

NoPoGuy, a major reason that PP&R's Fulton Park Community Center closed (under Park's auspices)is Portland's universal Planners wanting to use the 10 acres for high density affordable housing in conjuction with the remake/rezoning along SW Barbur. All this is in the Barbur to Sherwood Lightrail line planning, that maybe 75 people has decided what the rest of us need. And after spending over $10 Million in Planning and more to come. Time to stop it and not get in a Clackamas-like bind.

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