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Ninety-eight point six.

Oswego Lake is 98.6 feet above sea level. By coincidence, 98.6 degrees is a normal, healthy body temperature. Hartman

In terms of our community support for the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation, a private initiative for public good, 98.6 percent parent participation would be very healthy. The 80 percent foundation goal is healthy for this year, but there is room to increase.

Now is the time when Lake Oswego Schools Foundation volunteers ask for contributions to keep our schools healthy for another year. I learned long ago that state funding and the local option don’t fund everything that is required for an excellent LO education. It’s the community giving component that helps our school budget close the gap between state allocation and our community expectations.

A donation to the foundation is an investment in education and an investment in the health of our city. Cities with high community commitment and high education support are strong communities. Our local option vote was supported by 78 percent of our voters — a strong commitment. Our alumni return to live here, work here and raise their families here. People with jobs who transfer to Oregon settle in Lake Oswego because of our strong, healthy community that values education.

This year’s foundation goal is 80 percent parent participation and $2 million in donations. Whether the donation is $5 or $5000, every donation counts. The foundation neared the halfway mark in pledges this week. When you make your commitment by the end of April, your school board can include foundation dollars in the budget to keep class sizes low, keep teachers in the classroom and maintain a healthy school system.

Your school board continues to address the need to increase hours in the classroom taught by outstanding teachers balanced by the funding to keep class sizes low. The demands on our teachers and students increase every year. Lake Oswego School District is preparing students for 21st century citizenship and to adapt to ongoing challenges and changes.

My husband and I started supporting the foundation more than 10 years ago when we saw how donations benefited our child’s education. We continue to give because our donations also benefit our neighbor’s children and our community. We both believe in investing in the present through the annual fund and investing in the future through the foundation endowment. Most of all, we believe citizens who invest in education are part of a healthy community.

On behalf of the school board, thank you for your investment in teachers through the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation. If you have not already made a donation or answered the call, you can donate online at losfoundation.org. More calls will be made through April. It’s hard to reach everyone at home these days, so if you don’t get the call, please feel free to call the foundation office at 503-534-2106. Make your investment in teachers, students and the very healthy community of Lake Oswego.

Liz Hartman is a resident of Lake Oswego and a member of the Lake Oswego School Board.

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