Portland Children's Levy


Portland Children's Levy

Allocation Committee PCL

Commissioner Ryan possesses a deep commitment to educational equity and ensuring the success of the Portland Children’s Levy — a $20 million taxpayer-funded citywide initiative that prepares children for school, supports them to be successful inside and outside of classrooms, and eliminates racial and ethnic disparities in children’s outcomes. 

Historical policies and practices have a direct relationship with disparities in outcomes for children navigating poverty and children of color. The Portland Children's Levy strives to change this trajectory by supporting community-based programs that help prepare children for school, support them to be successful in and out of school, and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in children’s outcomes.

The Portland Children's Levy funds more than 80 programs in six focus areas that support positive early development, school engagement and academic achievement, high school graduation, and family safety and stability. Community partners provide a range of services including access to high-quality childcare, parent-child activities for infants and toddlers, enriching after-school programs, caring adult mentors, therapeutic support in times of trauma and crisis, and daily access to nutritious food. Programs receive funding through a competitive application process.

Commissioner Ryan chairs the five-member Allocation Committee, which oversees the Levy and operates under a set of bylaws and meets publicly to make funding decisions. 

PCL logo

Portland Children's Levy recent accomplishments: 

  • Voters in May 2023 overwhelmingly renewed the Children’s Levy for a fourth time, extending funding through June 30, 2029.
  • Created a Community Council advisory body to provide a public voice that shapes Levy processes, policies and funding priorities.
  • Funded more than 80 service programs at more than four dozen community-based organizations working to support children and families.
  • Worked with programs to flexibly meet emerging community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, including connecting people with resources and supporting virtual engagement. 
  • Supported hunger relief programs that collectively served more than 15,000 children and their families in the last fiscal year.

Upcoming milestones: 

  • In 2024-25, the Levy will conduct a new round of grantmaking for multiyear large grants.