Local Option Levy FAQs

  • Q: What is the school levy?

    A: The local option school levy provides Lake Oswego with local control of funding for its schools. The levy supplements state funding and provides revenue for the current level of educational programs, teaching positions, and class sizes for the schools in our community. The school levy is a way of ensuring local dollars go toward funding Lake Oswego schools.

    Q: Why does LOSD have a local option levy?

    A: Measure 5, which passed in 1990, was a property tax limitation measure which also changed the way schools are funded in Oregon. Funding authority was transferred from the local level to the state level, and schools are now funded using a formula that equalizes funding across districts statewide. Since the passage of Measure 5, state funding does not pay for all of the items in the Lake Oswego School District's budget. 

    Q: How will District funds be used to inform the community about the levy?

    In accordance with ORS 260.432, District funds and staff time will only be used to educate and provide factual, levy-related information to the community. While private citizens may engage in direct advocacy, District resources may not be used for political purposes. For information regarding a specific communication or other aspects of community engagement, please contact Christine Moses at mosesc@loswego.k12.or.us

    Q: How long has LOSD had a local option levy?

    A: The first local option school levy was approved in 2000. It was renewed in 2004, 2008, and 2013. 

    Q: What percentage of the school budget does our school levy represent?

    A: The school levy currently provides more than 12% of the general operating budget of the Lake Oswego School District. That funding enables Lake Oswego to maintain individualized learning opportunities and more curricular options.

    Q: What does our school levy provide?

    A: It provides more than 80 licensed and classified staff positions, which allows the District to offer a breadth and depth of coursework for our students. Additionally, because of regular uncertainties in the state budgeting process, the levy allows for a level of predictabiility in funding for local schools.

    Q: What would happen if the local option school levy were not renewed?

    A: If the local option levy were not renewed, the District would have to make decisions to reduce the budget by more than 12%, or approximately $10 million beginning in 2020-2021. Reductions would impact every aspect of school programs and educational services, including teaching positions, class sizes, and course offerings. 

    Q: Who votes on our school levy?

    A: All registered voters in the Lake Oswego School District can vote on the local option levy.