About the School Levy

What is at risk

Our outstanding Lake Oswego schools have been made possible by many things: our great teachers, caring parents, and remarkable students are key factors, but the entire community has an important role to play in supporting them. One key show of support is our local option school levy. In 2000, when the state of Oregon began to allow communities to augment state funding with local support, Lake Oswego voters were among the first to overwhelmingly approve the funding. In 2004 and 2008, voters reauthorized the funding by wide margins. It’s time to renew it again.

Represents 10% of School Budget

Our school levy, which represents about 11% of our school district’s budget, has made it possible for our schools to keep our class sizes low and offer diverse program offerings at all levels. In recent years, when state revenue shortfalls have faltered, districts around Lake Oswego have drastically cut staff and increased class sizes, sometimes to as many as 40 or 50 students in a class. Programs have also been cut. But in Lake Oswego, the school levy has made it possible to avoid the most dramatic cuts. Yes, there have been changes over the years, some painful; but our school levy has kept those changes manageable and minimized disruption in our classrooms.

Every School in Lake Oswego Receives Top State Rating

And the extra funding has paid great dividends: for the past six years, every public school in Lake Oswego has received the highest possible rating from the state. Every school. And it’s not just test scores: our kids attend and excel at prestigious universities and colleges across the nation. They go on to important careers—and many of them return to Lake Oswego when it’s time to raise their own families because they know it is such a special place. The extra funding from the school levy has also enabled the district to provide strong programs for those students with special needs. Every child in Lake Oswego receives the most opportunities possible.

Strong Schools = Strong Property Values in Lake Oswego

The effect of strong schools goes far beyond what it does for the students and parents of Lake Oswego: our property values are higher because of the strong schools. As any house hunter will tell you, a home in Lake Oswego is worth more than a comparably-sized home in any other Portland suburb, or anywhere in Oregon—often considerably more. That’s the same story across the nation: where communities value education, the property values remain high, even in a recession.

Will Not Increase Taxes

By renewing our school levy for another 5 years, your taxes will not increase. Our school levy will continue at the same rate it has for more than 10 years, providing excellent schools and the benefits they provide that make Lake Oswego the best place to live in Oregon: a safe community with educated, motivated students and as a highly desirable place to live for parents and others, our property values will remain strong.

SAT scores chart

School budget pie

**Source: Lake Oswego School District Revenues and Expenditure Forecast