What is the local option levy?
State law gives individual communities the ability to supplement state funding for their local schools needed as a result of changes to statewide school funding models made in the 1990’s. The first Lake Oswego School District local option levy was approved in 2000 and renewed in 2004, 2008 and 2013. The current local option school levy provides more than 12% of the District’s operating budget for instructional programs, teaching positions and educational services.
When the first local option school levy was approved in 2000, it allowed the District to add back some of the educational opportunities previously eliminated programs and to upgrade both instruction and program offerings. This included adding teaching positions, lowering class sizes, and providing college prep curricula and electives. The current local option school levy continues to support these improvements, and provides the means for the District to provide a level of program offerings, teaching positions, and class sizes that would not be possible if the District were to rely on state school support as its sole source of revenue.
Levy funding and all school District finances and expenditures are subject to accountability measures, including annual audits and School Board oversight, which ensure funds are used as intended.