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School board OKs levy language for November ballot


District to-do list also approved

The Lake Oswego School Board this week approved the language for the local option school levy to be on the ballot this fall.

On Tuesday, the board unanimously green-lighted the motion to approve the language for the question and summary for the ballot and explanatory statement for the voters pamphlet.

“Motion passes — hopefully, the measure will pass,” said Patti Zebrowski, school board chairwoman.Patti Zebrowski

The measure, which would be effective in July 2015, will continue the current rate. The owner of a $350,000 home, for example, pays about $41 per month or $487 per year.

The question posed to voters for the Nov. 5 election will be: “Shall District levy $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value for operations; protect programs, class sizes for five years beginning 2015-16?”

The explanatory statement provides some history, including that the levy first was approved in 2000 and renewed in 2004 and 2008.

“The current local option school levy provides approximately 10% of the district’s operating budget for instructional programs, teaching positions and educational services,” the explanatory statement says.

The deadline to file the measure and explanatory statement for the upcoming ballot is Sept. 5.

In other news:

  • The school board passed the School Board Strategic Priorities and District Timeline. The district staff and the board collaborate to create such a plan each year, and Superintendent Bill Korach said it is important for district employees, board members and the public to know exactly what’s happening, especially in a year like this one when the to-do list is long.

    “We’re not going to have a lot of spare time, so we have to be working on the same things in the same way,” Korach said.

    The board’s priorities this year include: the strategic budget plan, the local option school levy, Common Core State Standards and the superintendent search.

  • Director of Human Resources Mary Kaer said the district recalled the three teachers laid off this year as part of an effort to address a budget shortfall. About 10 teaching positions were eliminated, but because of vacancies, three teachers were initially laid off. The returning teachers will be working at Westridge Elementary School, which had the most open positions.

    A teacher who is laid off must be the first considered for any job in the school district for which they are licensed within 27 months of release, by state statute.

    “We are just very glad that we are able to recall (the teachers) at this time,” Kaer said.

  • The board heard a presentation from the Lakeridge and Lake Oswego high school principals on peer tutoring and a presentation on SAT and ACT prep offerings by the high school principals and the Community School director.

    Zebrowski suggested offering tutoring during lunch break, but the speakers said the time is too short, and before and after school work best.

    School board member Bob Barman said, “I think you need to make sure the people who can’t access (tutoring), or don’t have money, have options.”

  • The school board denied an appeal of a district administrative decision on a student transfer.

  • The board approved an early graduation request for a student who wished to study abroad during the second half of her senior year.

  • A districtwide parent advisory committee meeting is planned for 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at Lake Oswego High School, 2501 Country Club Road. For more information about the Lake Oswego School District Levy go to www.lakeoswegoschoollevy.com