Learning Levy would benefit all of LO
Schools are the heart of our community here in Lake Oswego. We pride ourselves on the excellence of the education provided, and we make supporting our schools a central point of community life. We see this through our commitment to the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation, active PTOs and athletic clubs, and through our strong support for Lake Oswego School District's bonds and levies.
As an uncontested candidate for the Lake Oswego School Board, I am looking forward to beginning to serve the community as a school board member in July 2019. With the mindset of becoming a school board member, it's become even more clear to me how important the district's bonds and levies are. We have an important opportunity this May to demonstrate our commitment to educational excellence because our local option levy is up for renewal — the LO Learning Levy, Measure 3-547.
Passing the LO Learning Levy is an affordable and accountable way to make sure we're giving our district, and our new superintendent, the tools and resources to make Lake Oswego's schools world-class. The local option levy has been providing needed revenue to our schools since 2000, and it currently makes up 12% of the district's operating budget. This year, the board referred a modest increase in the levy to voters, which will allow the district to hire up to 20 more teachers, specialists and counselors. These positions are critical to making sure Lake Oswego students receive the best possible education, and that we have the resources to provide personalized instruction to the students who need it.
Through my role with the State Public Health Division, I've had the opportunity to see firsthand how government works best, and this experience has taught me to strongly support accountability measures and metric specificity. Our local option levy has continually met high accountability requirements since it was first passed in 2000, and as a school board member I will ensure it continues to meet those standards. The levy has built-in checks and balances like annual audits, so voters know funds raised from the levy will be spent directly on programs, teachers, and staff — not on administrative overhead.
In addition to these important accountability requirements, I support the LO Learning Levy because it provides specifics for how the resources will be used. The additional revenue from the increase of the levy will allow the district to hire teachers in specific areas, including a new STEM/innovation teacher for each elementary school, a new school resource officer, and new mental health and social-emotional learning counselors in both elementary and secondary schools. The district has focused on the areas of greatest need in our schools and will use the resources from the levy to address these areas in an accountable and affordable way.
As a parent with kids at Hallinan and Lakeridge Junior High, it's important to me that the LO Learning Levy passes so my children have the best education possible. As a future school board member, it's important to me that the LO Learning Levy passes so that each and every child in Lake Oswego has the resources they need. As a community member, it's important that the LO Learning Levy passes because strong schools make our community stronger. Please join me in voting yes on Measure 3-547.
Kirsten Aird is running unopposed for Lake Oswego School Board position 5.
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