About the Local Option Levy
State law gives individual communities the ability to supplement state funding for their local schools, which was needed as a result of changes to statewide school funding models made in the 1990’s. The first Lake Oswego School District 5-year local option levy was approved in 2000 and has been renewed four times, most recenly in May, 2019. This recent renewal was approved by voters with an increase of $0.25 per thousand of assessed value over the previous rate, for a total of $1.64 per thousand of assessed value.
When the first local option school levy was approved in 2000, it allowed the District to add back some of the previously eliminated educational opportunities 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 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 operating revenue.
The current Local Option Levy continues funding for more than 80 teaching, licensed, and classified positions. It also provides additional resources for new licensed staff to support advanced career/technical and STEM programs, and to provide academic and individualized social/emotional counseling supports:
Mental Health Supports
- Added 3 elementary mental health and social-emotional learning counselors
- Added 4 secondary mental health/social-emotional learning counselors
- Added 6 elementary STEAM/Innovation teacher; one for each elementary school makerspace
- Added 2 secondary STEM/Innovation teachers; to build out computer science offerings
- Added 3 elementary ready support/learning specialists
- Added 1.5 PE support for elementary schools
- Added 1 additional school resource officer
Local option levy funding, and all district finances and expenditures, are subject to accountability measures, including annual audits and School Board oversight, which ensure funds are used as intended.