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Renew your support for local option school levy

Please vote yes and renew our local option school levy, Measure 3-434. For our community and our kids. Robertson

We all know how important a good education is to the success of our nation, our community and our young people here in Lake Oswego. Lake Oswego schools form the heart and center of our community. Our top notch schools are the reason many of us live here, raise our families here and come back to this community if we are apart from it.

Healthy schools create our healthy community with good real estate values and full of motivated community members, volunteers, parents and kids. Our great schools promote a healthy business community here in Lake Oswego full of families, residents and professionals who value education. I believe it is this common bond that makes our community special and like no other place.

Educational excellence is no accident. It is achieved with the combined efforts of a supportive community, great teachers and administrators, great parents and fantastic kids. With all of us working together here in Lake Oswego, we have developed a reputation and a track record of support and academic excellence we can all be proud of.

Our country needs the best and the brightest to lead us and to keep our country competitive. Our kids need to be prepared for all of the challenges the world has to throw in their way and to excel as individuals, professionals and future parents.

The local option levy gives us some local control over funding in our schools. It provides a critical 10 percent of our operating budget and is even more critical as state funding is so unreliable. Our kids need lower class size, more class choice, advanced placement courses, science technology, engineering, math and language offerings to provide challenge and inspiration for achievement and preparation.

This local funding provides our community the ability to provide a level of programs that exceeds what state funding would provide alone.

Here are some of the many accomplishments by our schools last year:

  • For the sixth year in a row, every school in our district has achieved the state’s highest rating.
  • SAT scores are 12 percent higher and ACT scores 21 percent higher than state averages.
  • Students met all four ACT college readiness benchmarks at double the state/national average.
  • 95 percent of our juniors met/exceeded state reading benchmarks (vs. 82-89 percent in comparable districts); 91 percent of juniors also met/exceeded in math (vs. 71-78 percent in comparable districts).
  • 92 percent of fifth-graders met/exceeded state reading benchmarks (vs. 70-83 percent in comparable districts); 87 percent of fifth-graders also met/exceeded in math (vs. 63-82 percent in comparable districts).
  • Renewing the school levy now, at the same rate we have been paying, ensures continuity of that critical revenue source until 2020. Those dollars go directly to support instructional programs and services for children in our own Lake Oswego schools. No matter how carefully the budget is managed, our schools cannot absorb a loss of this magnitude without significantly damaging education in Lake Oswego.

    I am a proud supporter of our schools and I know you are too. Please join me, our mayor, city council, our school board and residents in voting for the renewal of our local option levy.

    Our kids and our community thank you.

    Kevin Robertson, Lake Oswego, is a local businessman who was a candidate earlier this year for the Lake Oswego School Board and is a board member with the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation.

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