Measure 26-207 - November 2019 Special Election - Portland School District 1J


Levy Renewal to Maintain Teaching Positions and Classroom Supports

Question: Shall district maintain teaching positions, classroom supports; renew levy of $1.99 per $1,000 assessed value for five years beginning 2020? This measure renews current local option taxes.

Summary: Portland Public Schools’ current local option levy was approved by voters in 2014 to provide funding for schools over 5 years. The renewed levy will provide an estimated $99.9 million in the first year. Over the past five years, the levy has funded an average of 825 teaching positions each year and, if approved, the renewed levy is projected to maintain that average over the next five years.

This renewed local option levy would continue to fund teaching positions to:

  • Support a well-rounded education, including career and technical programs and enrichments and electives for all students.
  • Help maintain class sizes
  • Provide supports, such as reading specialists, for struggling students.

Levy cost remains $1.99 per $1,000 assessed property value, the same as the 2014 levy.

Funds will be placed in a sub-account, and independent citizen oversight will review expenditures to verify that funds are used as approved by voters. No levy funds will be spent for administration. Performance auditing of school district programs also will be done.

The levy will produce an estimated $99.9 million in 2020-2021; $103.9 million in 2021-2022; $108.1 million in 2022-2023; $112.4 million in 2023-2024; and $111.9 million in 2024-2025. The estimated tax cost for this measure is an ESTIMATE ONLY based on the best information available from the county assessor at the time of estimate and may reflect the impact of early payment discounts, compression and the collection rate.

Explanatory Statement

Portland Public Schools currently serves over 49,000 students in 81 schools and other programs throughout the neighborhoods of Portland.

For the ninth straight year, PPS’ 4-year graduation rates increased in 2017-2018. The graduation rate of 79.6% remains above the statewide average and has risen more than 17 points since 2010.

In serving the students of Portland, the district continuously strives to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer resources. Through many years of budget cuts, the school district and Board have worked to preserve classroom education. At the same time, PPS has advocated for a greater level of state investment by the Legislature and worked to ensure that all dollars are spent well and used for educational services for students. In December 2018, independent auditors gave PPS a clean bill of financial health. The district will receive regular performance audits to monitor effective use of taxpayer resources.

The legislature has recently increased its investment in K-12 education, but more investments are needed to continue to build career and technical programs, maintain class size and better support struggling students. In the meantime, funds raised by this local option levy will help to close the funding gap.

If renewed, the levy is estimated to produce $99.9 million for Portland Public Schools in school year 2020-2021. The proposed levy renewal would:

Fund teaching positions and classroom supports at every school in the district

  • The funds help support a well-rounded education, with enrichments for elementary and middle grades and electives in varied interest areas and disciplines for high school students.
  • The funds help support career and technical programs and STEM programs, including computer science education, so students can graduate with the skills necessary to be career or college ready.
  • Over the past five years, the levy funded an average of 825 teaching positions annually. If approved, that average will be maintained.
  • Academic support for struggling students is included.

Continue to provide fiscal accountability and independent oversight

  • This renewal maintains the existing local option levy rate of $1.99 per $1,000 assessed value and ensures that all funds raised are directed to the voter-approved purpose of supporting schools.
  • This local option requires independent citizen oversight so that tax dollars are used only for purposes approved by local voters.
  • Funds will be placed in a sub-account to ensure their correct use and accurate reporting.
  • No funds from this local option levy will be used for district administration.

Maintain the existing tax rate of $1.99 per $1,000 of assessed value

  • For a home with an average assessed value of $233,925, the cost would be less than $39 per month, or $465 per year.

This local option levy replaces the one passed by voters in 2014, and maintains the existing tax rate.

Submitted by 

Amy Kohnstamm, ​Board Chair
Portland Public Schools

No arguments in opposition to this measure were filed.


Renew the Portland Teachers Levy!

YES FOR TEACHERS, YES FOR KIDS urges a YES Vote on Measure 26-207 this November

This November, Portland voters will have the opportunity to vote YES and renew the local option Teachers Levy.

A YES vote on the local levy ensures the district can maintain over 800 teaching positions across the district without raising taxes.

Portland Public Schools – serving over 49,000 students – strives for every child, in every school to succeed and reach their highest potential in life and career. Having a high quality teacher in every classroom, and class sizes that allow for individual attention and diverse, well funded instructional programs is fundamental to reaching this goal.


Preserves Over 800 Teaching Positions

  • Teachers are the heart of our schools. Renewal of the levy funds over 800 high quality teaching positions across the District that help the children in our community thrive. A third of all teaching positions in Portland Public Schools are funded by the Levy.

Funding Programs for a Comprehensive Education

  • Levy funds help support a well-rounded program, with enrichments for elementary and middle grades and electives in varied interest areas and disciplines for high school students.

Maintains Current Tax Rate

  • This levy is a renewal. Meaning taxpayers would continue paying the same local option tax rate of $1.99 per $1,000 assessed value they pay today

Independent Oversight

The levy renewal requires independent oversight to ensure tax dollars are used for purposes approved by voters. The Citizen Budget Review Committee will continue to provide this oversight and all levy funds will be placed in a separate account for transparent reporting.

Please join the Yes For Teachers, Yes For Kids campaign and vote YES on Measure 26-207 to support Portland’s children, teachers, and classrooms. Renew the Portland Teachers Levy!

  • Congressman Earl Blumenauer

(This information furnished by Julia Brim-Edwards, Yes For Teachers Yes For Schools)


Votar A FAVOR de la Medida 26-207 renovará el impuesto actual de los maestros de las Escuelas Públicas de Portland y preservará la financiación para más de 800 maestros en las escuelas del distrito. Aproximadamente uno de cada tres puestos docentes está financiado por el impuesto actual. Un voto A FAVOR renueva este impuesto por cinco años adicionales sin aumentar la tasa fiscal actual. Únase a nosotros para votar A FAVOR de la Medida 26-207.

Ваш голос ЗА (ориг. «YES») принятие законодательной меры 26-207 (ориг. Measure 26-207) обеспечит продление действующего в настоящее время налога, предусмотренного Управлением образования государственных школ г. Портленд для поддержки преподавательского состава, и сохранит финансирование более 800 рабочих мест учителей в школах района. Примерно каждое третье рабочее место преподавателя финансируется за счет действующего налога. Ваш голос ЗА продлит действие этого налога еще на пять лет без повышения существующей налоговой ставки. Пожалуйста, присоединяйтесь к нам и отдайте свой голос ЗА принятие законодательной меры 26-207.

Biểu quyết "YES" (đồng ý) cho Dự luật 26-207 sẽ gia hạn tiền thuế cho giáo viên tại các Trường Công lập Portland và bảo toàn kinh phí cho hơn 800 giáo viên tại các trường học trên toàn quận. Khoảng một trong ba giáo viên được tài trợ bởi tiền thuế hiện tại này. Biểu quyết "YES" sẽ gia hạn khoản thuế này thêm năm năm nữa mà không tăng mức thuế hiện tại. Hãy cùng chúng tôi tham gia biểu quyết "YES" cho Dự luật 26-207.

Cod bixinta ah HAA ee Xeerka 26-207 waxaa dib loogu cusbooneysiin doonaa canshuurta la isa saaro iyada oo la ilaalin doono maalgelinta loogu talagalay in ka badan 800 macallin ee dugsiyada ku yaala guud ahaan degmada. Qiyaastii saddex boos oo dhanka waxbarida ah hal ka mid ah ayaa lagu maalgeliyaa canshuurta hadda la isa saaro. Cod bixinta ah HAA waxaa dib loogu cusbooneysiin doonaa canshuurtan la isa saarayo taasi oo loogu talagalay shan sano oo dheeraad iyada oo aan la kordhinayn heerka canshuurta ee hadda jira. Fadlan nagula soo biir coddeynta la coddeynayo HAA ee Xeerka 26-207.

对第 26-207 项措施投赞成票将延续现有的波特兰公立学校教师征税,并为该地区的800多名教师提供资金。目前的征税为约三分之一的教职岗位提供资金。投赞成票将令该征税在不提高现有税率的前提下续期五年。请加入我们,对第 26-207 项措施投赞成票。

(This information furnished by Inna Levin, Yes For Teachers Yes For Schools.)



As students who have grown up in PPS classrooms every day, we know firsthand what we need need to succeed. We’ve been inspired by PPS teachers throughout our entire lives, and we carry deep gratitude for the inspiration, wisdom, patience, and morals we’ve learned from educators across the district.

Renewal of the Levy is imperative for current and future students. Losing up to 800 teaching positions would inhibit our ability to provide the individualized attention necessary to properly educate. Whether we’re learning arithmetic or physical education, reading comprehension or chemistry, our ability to receive instruction from our teachers hinges on appropriate class sizes and teachers with manageable work loads.

Most of us are ineligible to cast a ballot this November, but we still want to make a difference in our community. We are happy to support the PPS Teachers Levy and ask you to cast your ballot in support of our teachers. We are the young adults we are today thanks to the tireless dedication, love, wisdom and support of PPS teachers. Voting YES on Measure 26-207 ensures that the students who will come after us will enjoy PPS schools with the appropriate number of teachers necessary to serve our growing district.

Our siblings, teachers, and schools are counting on you - vote YES on Measure 26-207.

PPS Students

Maxine Latterell, Franklin HS Senior
PPS Board Student Representative

Oliver Baltzer, Junior
Carly Banker, Freshman
Lillian Bander, Junior
Megan Bathurst, Sophomore
Norah Bean, Junior
Jazmine Carter, Sophomore
Camille Clarke, Sophomore
Larry Delgado-Lopez, Sophomore
Kai Dever, Junior
Lucy Eckel, Freshman
Duncan Goddard, Junior
Yasmine Irish-Manibusau, Junior
Fiona Jahoda, Senior
Theo Kasten, Junior
Jackson Kincaid-Osborn, Junior
Lilah Maclowry, Junior
Isabelle March, Junior
Samy Meleigy, Sophomore
Kevin Nguyen, Senior
Karissa Owens, Junior
Sofia Padura, Junior
Liliana Signori, Junior
Stephanie Ta, Junior
Yahira Téllez, Sophomore
Mykah Vodden, Freshman
Catalina Villanueva, Sophomore
Bethy Temelso, Senior
Dante Walls, Senior
Sakira Wells, Junior

(This information furnished by Scott Bailey, Yes For Teachers Yes For Schools.)


A Message from the Portland Association of Teachers

Classroom teachers across the District know that the existing local option levy is critical to our ability to educate all of Portland’s students. The Portland Association of Teachers - representing over 4,000 educators - stands with numerous community leaders across the city in calling for a renewal of the local option teachers’ levy.

A YES vote on Measure 26-207 would renew the existing teachers’ levy without raising existing taxes. Passage of the levy would:

  • Maintain teachers, counselors, and specialists in every school across the District
  • Support individualized attention for students
  • Maintain opportunities for enrichment courses, electives, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming

The Portland Association of Teachers has worked with officials across the city, region and state to reduce class sizes and support greater public investment in our schools. While we are delighted by the passage of the Student Success Act in the Oregon Legislature, Portland’s schools still need the local option levy to avoid losing more than 800 teaching positions.

We need to maintain this levy if we want to reverse more than three decades of disinvestment in our public schools.

That is why the Portland Association of Teachers welcomes the District’s support for Measure 26-207, and their continued efforts to ensure over 800 teaching jobs remain in our community. Measure 26-207 is an opportunity for Portlanders to renew their commitment to lowering class sizes, and providing the individual attention and excellent education that children in every corner of our District deserve and need.

This November, please support Portland’s teachers and vote YES on Measure 26-207.

(This information furnished by Suzanne Cohen, Portland Association of Teachers.)


Parents, Portland Council PTA urges YES vote for students, teachers

For over 100 years, PTA volunteers who are parents, teachers and community members have tirelessly worked for all Portland Public Schools students. We are in our schools everyday helping students and assisting our teachers and staff.

PTA volunteers alone could never meet all the needs of our students for a modern education.

We need great teachers in every classroom. A rich education that includes academics along with those things that engage students like music, art, with amazing exploration, experimentation and hands on learning as well as career, tech-focused opportunities for every student.

Please join Portland Council PTA & continue the critical support for PPS children and teachers. Vote YES on Measure 26-207!

PTA Site Council

Amber Anderson, Treasurer, Skyline K-8 PTA
Todd Borkowitz, Woodlawn ES
Carrie Bowers, Arleta K-8
Mary Cadien, Vice President, Woodlawn ES PTA
Keli Cook, Irvington ES PTA President
Amy Dirk, Franklin HS
Holly Echeverria, Richmond ES / Mt Tabor MS
Jeana Frazzini, Grant HS / Beaumont MS
Claire Giesise, Lewis ES / Hosford MS
Heather Gregg, Peninsula ES
C. Erica Hailstone, Winterhaven K-8 / Woodstock ES
Amy Hojnowski, Beach ES
Tahni Holt, César Chávez K-8
Denise Holtrop, Roseway Heights MS
Georgie Horal, Jefferson HS
Kim Jarema, President, Atkinson ES PTA
Brita Johnson, Richmond ES
Meghan Kelley, Creston School PTA President
Tia Knuth, Creston K-8 PTA Member
Rachael Lembo, Sunnyside K-8
Jessica Lowe, Capitol Hill ES
Noel Luchs, Arleta K-8
Andrea Mukul, Ainsworth ES
Scott Overton, Portland Council PTA
Amelia Palmer-Hansen, Roseway Heights MS
Patch Adam Perryman, Metropolitan Learning Center K-8
Melissa Pomeroy, Sellwood MS
Jennifer Reel-Hall, Secretary, Peninsula PTA
Kari Schlosshauer, Abernethy ES
S. Kerin Shattuck, Irvington ES
Seth Shikora, President, Mt Tabor MS PTA
Eric Shniewind, Jefferson HS
Sierra Springfield Perryman, Metropolitan Learning Center K-8
Jennifer Stewart, Peninsula ES
Denis Theurault, Skyline K-8
Kris Wallsmith, Grant HS
Laura Watts, Vice President, Skyline K-8 PTA
Judy Zawatzky, Glencoe ES / Mt Tabor MS

(This information furnished by Scott Bailey, Yes For Teachers Yes For Schools.)


A Community Committed To Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Needs Public Teachers To Thrive

The promise of equal access to public education is an integral component of the foundation of the American dream. Portland, as a progressive city who strives to champion our working families, immigrants, LGBTQ community members, Native Americans, the disability community and communities of color, deserves public schools fully equipped and prepared to provide a stable, well-rounded public education.

As Portland grows, the demographics of our city - and of PPS’ students - continue to change. Portland Public Schools serves over 49,000 Portland residents:

  • 43% of whom identify racially as “nonwhite;”
  • 22% are eligible for free meals;
  • 7% receive English as a Second Language services;
  • and 15% are enrolled in special education programming.

For PPS to appropriately serve these students and these families commensurate with their educational needs and rights, the district depends on having robust, reliable funding for teachers and classroom support staff.

Measure 26-207 maintains crucial funding for over 800 teaching positions across the district without raising existing taxes. Failure to approve the levy would risk losing these 800 positions, and the burden would be most disproportionately carried by our most vulnerable students in most need of a stable, excellent public education.

An investment in reliably excellent public schools for every student is a crucial component of making sure every community succeeds. A YES Vote on Measure 26-207 is a vote of affirmation that the next generation of Portlanders deserve an education in a learning environment that is stable, welcoming, supportive, and equitable.

Please join the following community leaders in supporting a YES vote this November on Measure 26-207. Renew the Portland Teachers Levy!

Latino Network
Veronica Leonard
Sadie Feibel Holmes
David Martinez
Melissa McCoy
Ximena Ospina-Todd
Maria Velez, Associate Director, SUN Community Schools

Stand for Children, Inc.

Angela Harvis-Holland, Northwest Disability Support / All Born In
Duncan Hwang
Kayse Jama
Andrew Riley
Jason Trombley
Cameron Whitten

(This information furnished by Aaron Brown, Yes For Teachers Yes For Schools.)


Business Leaders: Investment in Teachers is an Investment in our Economy

Our city’s economy rests upon the bedrock of public education. Excellent public schools are necessary for building and retaining Portland’s quality workforce, supporting existing businesses and attracting new ones to our city, and preparing the next generation of Portlanders for a rapidly-changing economy.


As business leaders across Portland, we’re invested in our community and invested in our public schools. Voting YES on Measure 26-207 to renew the local option teachers’ levy will support student achievement, teacher performance, and academic outcomes. Failure to pass Measure 26-207 would represent the loss of over eight hundred teaching jobs in the city, causing significant economic disruption to our community.


As businesses, we fully understand the importance of monitoring the bottom line. Measure 26-207 provides funding for Portland’s teachers while keeping our taxes at exactly the same rate for another five years. This renewal would continue independent citizen oversight so that tax dollars would be used only for purposes approved by local voters. Funds would be placed in a sub-account to provide for correct use; no funds from this local option levy would be used for district administration.

Please support this investment in Portland’s current and future economy.

Renew the Local Option Levy by voting YES on Measure 26-207.

Portland Business Alliance

Bozz Media
Andrew Colas, Colas Construction
Forum Law Group, LLC
Jared I Best Counseling
Oh planning+design, architecture
Kim Osgood and Mike Roach, Owners, Paloma Clothing
The Standard

(This information furnished by Scott Bailey, Yes For Teachers Yes For Schools.)



As elected officials who represent PPS teachers, students and families at multiple levels of government, we see firsthand how public education is directly related to our economy, our neighborhoods, and our quality of life. Ensuring that Portland’s classrooms are prepared for every student and that Portland has enough teachers to avoid overcrowding is a top line priority for all of us as we work to serve our constituents and govern our community.

While we have secured unprecedented funding for education statewide through the Student Success Act, this local option levy remains crucial to ensure that the more than 49,000 students in Portland Public Schools are provided with excellent teachers for a modern education. A YES vote on Measure 26-207 secures funding for over 800 teachers across the district. Independent citizen oversight will ensure that funds from this local option will be used only for purposes approved by local voters.

With this perspective, we are unified in agreement: it is imperative that voters renew the local option levy this November.

We urge you to vote YES on Measure 26-207.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer

State Senator Ginny Burdick
State Senator Michael Dembrow
State Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward
State Senator Robert Wagner

House Speaker Tina Kotek
​​​​​​​State Representative Rob Nosse​​​​​​​
State Representative Tawna Sanchez
State Representative Barbara Smith Warner
State Representative Jennifer Williamson

Metro Councilor Sam Chase
Metro Councilor Bob Stacey
Metro Councilor Christine Lewis

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury​​​​​​​
Multnomah County Commissioner Dr. Sharon Meieran​​​​​​​
Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal​​​​​​​

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler
City Commissioner Nick Fish
City Commissioner Amanda Fritz
City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly​​​​​​​

See our full list of elected officials, candidates and community leaders who have endorsed a YES vote on Measure 26-207 at

(This information furnished by Aaron Brown, Yes For Teachers Yes For Schools.)


PPS Board Members: Local Option Levy Essential For Continued District Growth

We are honored to serve PPS students and are deeply committed to providing an excellent education across the district. It’s an exciting time to serve on the PPS Board. This fall, we celebrated the opening of the renovated Grant HS; construction is underway to renovate Madison HS and build a new Kellogg MS, and construction planning is underway at both Lincoln HS and Benson HS. Thanks to the 2017 Bond, we’ve replaced and brought back online the majority of drinking fountains and kitchen faucets in the common areas of most schools. The legislature passed the Student Success Act, an unprecedented and long-awaited investment in education that will significantly bolster pre-K education, CTE programming, and resources for equity programs statewide.

PPS’ graduation rate continues to climb - the 2017-2018 school year represented the ninth with an improvement in our graduation rate; the third in which we outperformed the state average. Our students continue to inspire, providing invaluable community leadership with their galvanized urgency for organizing on climate action while also winning academic awards and statewide athletic championships. (Congratulations, Benson Women’s Basketball Team!)

It is with this backdrop of continued steady growth and success that we ask the voters of our community to affirm the progress that Portland Public Schools has been making and renew the levy. We ask that you please join the teachers, parents, students, and community leaders across the district and vote yes on Measure 26-207. Your yes vote helps ensure that PPS will be able to access the resources we need to keep our teachers in classrooms and provide an excellent education in our city’s beloved public schools.

Let’s Renew the Levy.
Vote YES on Measure 26-207.

PPS Board Chair Amy Kohnstamm​​​​​​​
PPS Vice Chair Julia Brim-Edwards
PPS Board Member Scott Bailey
PPS Board Member Michelle DePass​​​​​​​
PPS Board Member Eilidh Lowery
PPS Board Member Rita Moore
PPS Board Member Andrew Scott

(This information furnished by Julia Brim-Edwards, Yes For Teachers Yes For Schools.)

The printing of these arguments does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the arguments.