District seeks to re-up its operating levy
A graphic breakout on Page A3 of the at-home edition of the Sept. 13 issue has incorrect information about bonds and levies. Bond moneys cannot be used to pay for personnel.
Voters in the Tigard-Tualatin School District will be asked once again to approve the renewal of a local option levy on the November ballot.
The levy drew support from voters in 2000 and was renewed in 2004, 2008 and 2014. That last win was the biggest yet, with an estimated 70 percent of Washington County voters and 76 percent of Clackamas County voters saying "yes."
"The continuation of our local option levy is crucial to the stability of our district," said Sue Rieke-Smith, superintendent. "It provides funding for approximately 100 teachers and ensures continuity of the programs those teachers provide. It is the one mechanism our local voters have to supplement inadequate state funding and maintain the educational quality we value."
Measure 34-285 is a renewal, not a new tax.
The money would go toward:
n Funding for approximately 100 teachers who work in classrooms throughout the district.
n Help maintain existing classroom programs.
n Protect class sizes supported by the current levy.
n Supplement state funding to maintain local school services.
If approved, the levy would continue the existing levy rate, which cannot exceed $1 per $1,000 of assessed value, for another five years. That would cost the owner of a $300,000 home $300 per year or about $25 per month; the same as now.
The levy is estimated to raise $9.4 million in 2020-21.
"Local option funding, combined with conservative financial decisions, enabled Tigard-Tualatin to be one of the few districts in Oregon that did not cut school days during the most recent recession," according to district spokeswoman Susan Stark Haydon.
A local option levy differs from a bond measure, in that the amount raised by a levy varies every years, going down as more taxable buildings, such as homes, are constructed. A bond measure costs property owners a specific amount of money for the duration of the bond.
Also, bond dollars cannot be used to pay for classroom teachers.
Voters in the district OK'd a bond measure in 2016 to renovate and rebuild several schools.
The last day to regiser for the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 16. Ballots in the vote-by-mail election should arrive around that date.