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Clackamas Review editorial board: Vote for local option levy to close estimated $17M budget gap

It is with good reason that the North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the North Clackamas School District's levy.

It just makes good business sense to keep teachers in place and keep students in classrooms learning so they are better prepared to be citizens and productive members of society.

The school district would have to cut a large number of school days or lay off hundreds of teachers if the levy doesn't pass. Many other districts in the metro area are looking at levies that will go directly to each local district, rather than the state school fund.

Expected shortfalls over the next five years for North Clackamas could be bridged by laying off up to 170 teachers or by shortening the school year by as many as 34 days (about 20 percent of the instructional time). Local business leaders recognize that these are unacceptable outcomes of the Oregon Legislature allocating a smaller and smaller portion of the state budget to schools each year.

The Clackamas Review's editorial board also would like the entire community to benefit by avoiding these drastic budget cuts to local schools. Voters should prevent the cuts by passing this levy that would only cost an extra $30 a month for the average property owner. With the additional funding, class sizes in North Clackamas will not increase by up to eight to 10 students in every classroom, nor would students lose up to one out of every five days their instructional time.

Cuts for local schools could indeed be devastating, but there's a simple and affordable fix: Vote yes on North Clackamas' levy to raise about $97 million over the next five years for local schools.

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