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Why should you contribute to the Schools Foundation?

The Lake Oswego Schools Foundation is off to a great start for this year’s $2 million campaign, but not everyone has written their check yet. It is simple to ask for money, but I feel compelled to back it up with the “why.”

Why should you contribute to the Foundation?

As a school board member for nearly six years, I can tell you that one of the highlights each year is when the Foundation board presents its check to the district in support of teachers.  Last year, we hired/retained 18 teachers because of the generous support of our community’s financial contributions to the Foundation.

That is the “why.” Foundation success means more teachers in the classroom, which provides better outcomes for all students. It is pretty simple.

We run a district that is low in overhead staff, because the most effective and influential job in our district is the teacher. Yes, we have an incredible support staff and administration. They are the best in Oregon. But so are our teachers. And we can positively impact each child’s education with more teaching horsepower.

Unfortunately, the state of Oregon does not support education to the level necessary for a world-class competitive education for our children. Lakeridge and Lake Oswego high school graduates, however, are able to compete at both the national and international level in test scores, graduation rates and college placement, in part due to the generous community support of the Foundation. From elementary through high school, Foundation-supported teachers provide additional opportunities for all our students.

My two daughters are examples. Like many in Lake Oswego, we moved here because of the schools. As recent graduates, they both benefited from the “LO advantage” of having a supportive community that believes in education. We are still writing a check each year to the Foundation because we believe in giving the children of Lake Oswego educational opportunities.

So to the 75 percent of us Lake Oswego residents who don’t have kids in school anymore, I am making the simple ask: Please write a check to the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation and mail it in to P.O. Box 70, Lake Oswego, OR  97034. Or go online to losdfoundation.com to make an online contribution.

It will make a difference for all of us. It will keep our community strong.

And as a school board member, I’d like to thank you for your continued support of education in Lake Oswego. You do make a difference.

John Wendland is a Lake Oswego resident and a member of the Lake Oswego School District board.

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