Thank you for LO Learning Levy passage
We are so thankful for the generosity of our voters in approving the LO Learning Levy last week. Because of your "Yes" vote, every single one of our 7,000 public school students are the winners. They will continue to have 80 teaching and classified staff in the classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, theaters and sports fields, thanks to the renewal. Because you recognized the realties our students are facing, the district was able to move plans to action by immediately posting positions to hire new teachers. The levy's 20 new positions include reading specialists, STEM teachers, school counselors, PE teachers and an additional school resource officer.
Education is a unifying force in Lake Oswego. It was clear as we walked door-to-door and visited your homes that you care deeply about our schools. Whether you are senior citizens, families with school-aged children, newly married couples, or young adults, we are united in our belief that ensuring educational excellence and equity is worth the sacrifice.
The levy provides great hope by preparing our students with the knowledge and skills for future jobs. We can support our early readers to make sure they can read with additional specialists at every elementary school. Every child will have an opportunity to explore STEM at the elementary level and to build their expertise. They will begin to learn to code instead of waiting until secondary school!
Adding counselors across all of our schools to address social-emotional needs will have a dramatic impact. Our families and children are navigating new terrain with the advent of cell phones, the Internet's global reach and other rapid changes. Sometimes little stumbles are life-changing. Maybe it's a divorce, death of a relative, moving in or out of Lake Oswego, transitioning to high school, bullying, bias or high stress. More counselors will allow our schools to address these issues and build resilience in our students.
We would like to recognize Dr. Beck, Dr. Musick and their teams who followed the data and asked the hard questions. They knew that our community wanted to not only be the state's best school district but also become world-class. They developed this plan to make sure each new position would actually move the needle. They knew that with only a renewal, some kids would be left behind. They knew that a modest increase would cause financial hardship, but this sacrifice was worth asking our community to make. We are so grateful as Dr. Musick departs and Dr. de la Cruz takes over for their leadership and our community approval. Bravo Lake Oswego!
Bob Barman and Neelam Gupta were co-chairs of the LO Learning Levy campaign.
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