Soapboxes are guest opinions from our readers, and anyone is welcome to write one. Lorraine Clarno is the president of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce.

We have an opportunity on Nov. 7 to re-emphasize our community's commitment to our children, future workforce and future community leaders.

Our Beaverton School District is putting forward Levy 34-139 for a capitol improvement bond of $195 million. Having received a 61 percent voter approval on May 16, it fell just short of the 50 percent voter turn out. The citizens of Beaverton need to speak out once again this November with the same resounding support for our children.

No one can question the growth our community has and will continue to experience. Nowhere is it more apparent than in our classrooms. Enrollment is projected to grow by at least 4,000 students by the year 2010. This bond measure will expand capacity for this anticipated growth and provide resources for necessary critical repairs to existing facilities.

No one can question that overcrowding has a direct impact on the quality of education our students receive. Smaller class sizes are not an option when there is not enough physical room to serve the students. A teacher's ability to provide important individual attention to students is diminished as we crowd more and more students into classrooms.

No one can question the importance of our highly regarded Beaverton School District in our community. We talk with businesses each and every day that are considering expanding or relocating to our community, bringing jobs and additional employees and their families. The strength of a community is often defined by the reputation of its schools and the community's voting record of support for its K-12 schools.

Quality of life is paramount in business decisions to keep and grow jobs in Beaverton. Our Beaverton School District is a shining asset that we hear about each and every day.

No one can question whether our school district manages taxpayer dollars with accountability. In 2004, when the state provided more than the projected operating dollars, our district board chose not to collect a second year of the voter-approved local option tax. Leadership at the district board and administration values the trust that citizens place in their hands.

No one can question the return on investment that the passage of Measure 34-139 will bring. As an organization of 750-plus businesses of all sizes, the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce knows that this levy makes good business sense. Strong schools mean a strong and healthy local economy. Strong schools mean the community of Beaverton will thrive.

Please vote 'yes' and support our Beaverton School District. There is no better investment we could possibly make today that will impact our tomorrow.

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