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Tigard-Tualatin School District levy passes, funding 70 teachers

Voters resoundingly supported the Tigard-Tualatin School District levy renewal in Tuesday's general election, with more than 70 percent of district residents agreeing to pay a few dollars each month to keep teachers in the classroom.

Measure 34-224 extends the school district’s current local option levy through 2019. The levy won’t cost voters any more than it has in the past 14 years.

Preliminary results released Tuesday evening show the levy passing easily, with 70 percent of Washington County voters and 76 percent of Clackamas County voters supporting it.

Voters have approved the levy several times since it was first supported in 2000, but never with the gusto they did on Tuesday, said district spokeswoman Susan Stark Haydon. It’s the largest return in an election the district has ever seen, she said.

Tigard-Tualatin Superintendent Ernie Brown said that high-approval rating means the district has a lot of work to do to make voters proud.

“It’s something we know we have to earn every day,” he said. “For the voters to show that level of confidence, and turn out in way they did, means a lot. It means that going forward, we’ll be able to do great things for kids, and that’s why we’re here.”

The levy is expected to bring in $6 million a year through 2019.

That money is expected to retain 55 teaching positions, and hire as many as 15 more teachers.

Ultimately, Brown said, that means reducing class size and giving students better opportunities.

“Being able to lower class size in a way that impacts students and teachers and parents, everybody feels that,” Brown said. “This feels like a different experience, and that is something that I am really excited about.”

The levy taxes homes up to $1 per $1,000 of its assessed value. That’s about $200 a year for a $200,000 home, or about $16.67 per month.

The district initially predicted that the levy would bring in about $4.6 million in its first year, but later revised that number based on better-than-expected property values showed it would bring in an additional $1.4 million.

Washington County elections for TTSD local option Levy

Votes
Yes
12
No
5,270


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