Communities Keep Saying Yes to Fund Early Learning

Eighty-three percent of Portland, Oregon voters recently reauthorized a property tax increase to support programs to address the achievement gap for children of color.  

That’s just the headline in a case study we published about the Portland Children’s Levy.  The levy, which has been in place since 2002, requires regular renewal by the voters.  Each time the levy is renewed the percentage of voters in favor of paying more property tax for these programs rises – from 53 percent in 2002 to 83 percent in 2018.

The levy now raises approximately $17 million annually and supports 74 programs ranging from preparing children for kindergarten, preventing child abuse and neglect and providing before and after school care. And the results are showing that more children are meeting age appropriate development milestones, more children are up to date on immunizations and more parents and caregivers are demonstrating or improving positive parenting skills.

You can read the case study on our Local Funding for Early Learning: A Community Toolkit website.  You’ll also find 17 state and local case studies from Wake County, NC to Petal, MS.

We’d also like to thank Leah Price for writing this case study. Leah wrote the case study as a student at UNC-CH in the MPA program and now works for the City of Greensboro.  Thank you Leah!

If your community is interested in participating in a training on how to use the toolkit, please contact Lisa Finaldi, Community Engagement Leader at NCECF at