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The Lake Oswego School Board appoints two new citizen members to the committee

The Lake Oswego School Board conducted interviews at its March 18 meeting to fill the two open citizen positions on the district's Legal Budget Committee, and appointed Massene Mboup and Jennifer Scheurer to serve.

The Legal Budget Committee (LBC) consists of the members of the school board and five citizen members who are charged with reviewing and approving the budget for the upcoming school year.

"The role of the Legal Budget Committee is to review, discuss and possibly make changes to the proposed budget presented by the budget officer," school board member Sara Pocklington said prior to the interviews. "The Legal Budget Committee has significant influence over the setting of the tax rates for the district. While the school board may subsequently alter the budget approved by the Legal Budget Committee, the school board cannot set a tax rate higher than that approved by the Legal Budget Committee."

The 2018-19 school year budget, which was adopted in June 18, 2018, had in total a sum of $308,260,003 for the district and $620,000 for the Lake Grove Swim Park, an asset controlled by the district. Funding from the state of Oregon constitutes 85 percent of the annual budget, the local option levy is 13 percent, the LO Schools Foundation raises 2 percent a year and a construction excise tax rounds out the remaining less than one percent.

The school board interviewed six citizens for the two open positions: Mboup, Scheurer, Cynthia Bauer, Kabir Bhatia and Brian Gentry.

Board chair Bob Barman expressed the board's gratitude to all of the applicants. "There wasn't a single person on this list that isn't more than qualified to be on this committee," said Barman.

Mboup told the school board that having lived in Lake Oswego for the past nine years, he is very invested in the success of public education in the city. He is the director of the International Leadership Academy, a private French immersion school in Lake Oswego, and his two children graduated from Lakeridge High School.

"It's dear to me, Lake Oswego public schools," Mboup said. "I think all schools will be better if they mirror themselves to the Lake Oswego School District. It is a model of success."

Mboup ran for City Council in 2018 and finished in fourth place with 7,856 votes. "One of my main points was the support from the City of the public service of education," he said. "Schools can only function when the resources are abound."

Mboup told the school board that as an educational scholar and leader, he believes strongly in the importance of school funding. The upcoming levy and the bond are important factors to this funding, he said. "The only way to support the schools is to know what's going on," he said. "I really want to help in that."

Scheurer was appointed to the Legal Budget Committee in 2016. Citizen members serve three-year terms, and she decided to apply again to continue her work on the committee.

Scheurer moved to Lake Oswego with her family six years ago because of the strong reputation of the school district. "We absolutely made the right decision," she said.

She added that she was surprised to find out how many parents of students in the LOSD also attended school in the district. "They're bringing their kids here, and that's a testament to what this district has done and continues to do," she said. "By serving on the (Legal Budget Committee), it's my small contribution to help continue to make it the best district in the state."

Scheurer's background is in planning, and she said that the skills she has acquired throughout her career along with her position as a mom to a middle schooler in the district make her a good fit for the LBC.

"We've gone through elementary school, and I understand a lot of concerns with parents and the community with the elementary school children and system," she said. "Now we're in junior high, so I'm seeing all sorts of new issues and things to deal with."

Scheurer said that because the budget is so daunting, having already served three years on the LBC will help her make more significant and informed comments. "By last year, it all absolutely made sense, and I was able to understand," she said. "Having that experience would be the greatest strength I could bring to the group."

Mboup and Scheurer will begin their terms on the Legal Budget Committee on March 28. They will join fellow citizen members Will Nolan, Lasith Perera and Christopher Rigney.

An orientation meeting will be held April 10. The budget is scheduled to be adopted June 17, 2019. Mboup and Scheurer will serve on the committee until June 30, 2021. For more information on the Legal Budget Committee or the LOSD budget, visit www.losdschools.org/Page/2076.


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