I recently listened as the CEO of a local public utility spoke before a crowd of community leaders about how they are committed to driving efficiency through the company by investing in the system and delivering value for their customers. Superintendent Jeff Rose and I speak regularly, and I know he is attempting to drive the same customer value and efficiencies within our Beaverton School District. The declining Beaverton School District revenue from our state has already forced $142 million in budget cuts, eliminated 16 school days and 642 teaching positions — and our schools can’t raise rates to make up the shortfall. Sadly, even more cuts are coming as a result of the current state school funding proposal in Salem.

I believe that the Beaverton School District is running efficiently. The district does not “pick-up” the PERS 6 percent employee contribution. The district works closely with partners such as the city of Beaverton, Washington County and Tualatin Hill Parks and Recreation District to cover costs such as shared field use and school resource officers in providing professional campus safety for our children.

In terms of value, we must consider what it means for our local economy if we let our schools fend for themselves against an anemic state funding formula. Excellent schools are critical to the businesses that are already here and those that might choose Beaverton in the future. Let’s face it, the first thing that families typically ask Realtors when considering a new home is “how are the schools?”

As companies such as Nike and Intel grow and expand by creating local jobs, they tell me over and over again that they always hope to attract strong candidates from within our local community. If we continue to cut teaching jobs, slash school days and increase class sizes, employees of businesses in Beaverton will choose other school districts and cities. In turn, we lose residents. To further strengthen our local economy, we must invest locally in our schools when we have those rare opportunities. Now, more than ever, we have the opportunity to step up and support our kids — our future.

As citizens of Beaverton, we can help our kids. By voting yes on Measure 34-204, our community will raise $15 million dollars per year, 100 percent of which will fund 150 new teaching positions. Not overhead or administration — but teachers. That’s 100 percent.

A strong school system is essential for the overall health of the Beaverton community. By creating a foundation of commitment to education as a priority value, we can continue to make Beaverton a great place to live, work and play.

Let’s drive value through our own community by investing 100 percent in our teachers so they can invest 100 percent into our future!

Please join me in supporting our schools by voting yes on Measure 34-204.

Mayor Denny Doyle lives in the Sexton Mountain neighborhood.

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