The grass is greener: Commissioner Smith helps make new turf a reality for two SUN Schools

September 5, 2014

From left: Portland Interscholastic League district athletic director Marshall Haskins; Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith; and Commissioner Loretta Smith

On Friday, Sept. 5, Multnomah County District 2 Commissioner Loretta Smith attended Madison High School’s kick-off football game of the season in honor of the school’s new turf.

Madison High School is one of the two county SUN Community Schools to receive a $25,000 grant for a new turf field.

Last year, Commissioner Smith was the driving force behind advocating for the money to help Portland Public Schools. Commissioner Smith and the county Board of Commissioners approved the money as a way for PPS leaders to leverage donors to the projects at Madison and Jefferson.

Jefferson also received $25,000 for its turf field. Both schools are SUN Community Schools with more than 70 percent of their students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches.

While crafting the budget item for the 2014 fiscal year, Commissioner Smith kept those schools in mind. As far as funding for new fields went, Madison and Jefferson High School would have been lower on the list for schools eligible for new fields.

“It’s really about leveling the playing field for struggling families and for the kids at the SUN Community Schools, and giving them the same benefit as everyone else,” Commissioner Smith said.