Help schools answer key funding questions

Print Article

If you’ve been waiting to fill out the Coeur d’Alene School District’s important survey, procrastinate no more.

The deadline is end of day tomorrow.

Here’s the link: www.cdaschools.org/levysurvey

The survey results will help the district decide how it will go about seeking support from taxpayers in the years ahead. One of the issues deals with the maintenance and operations levy, which is up for public vote next March. The district wants patrons to consider increasing the amount of the last levy, $16 million, to $20 million, with the additional money providing mental health programs and support; security enhancements; teacher and staff training; and improving pay for teachers and other staff in the district. The last levy, by the way, passed with almost 80 percent approval.

Also sought are patrons’ opinions on making the two-year levy requests an automatic approval into perpetuity. That’s a big question that deserves serious input from taxpayers.

Back in 2006, under the leadership of then-Gov. Jim Risch, a special session of the Idaho Legislature gave taxpayers a “break” by slashing $260 million from property taxes to schools. The state was flush at the time, but when the recession struck and the state brought in less money, public education took a hit whose pain continues to be felt. School districts have had to go to taxpayers every two years to make up about a large percentage of most operations budgets (24 percent in Coeur d’Alene).

The Press editorialized against what it perceived as a tax shift back then and we think history has proved the point. Today’s maintenance and operations levies comprise funding that’s needed for basic school expenses, not luxuries. Judging by the avid public support locally for these levies, many other citizens feel the same way. Alas, in poorer districts, levies either fail or they aren’t even sought, which illustrates the most damaging side of the funding gulf created by the tax shift.

We’ve heard from some people who like the idea that districts have to go to the voters every two years for funding, creating a powerful mechanism where the educators and administrators can be indirectly evaluated. If you don’t think your schools are doing a good job, these patrons say, your “no” vote on a levy can make a dramatic statement. Too dramatic, in our opinion, because if levies fail, people are going to lose jobs and the quality of local education will suffer considerably. A better approach than holding levies hostage is to recruit and elect the best school board members possible, communicate with them and hold them accountable.

What do you think? If you’re in District 271, please take a few minutes on the school survey and share your thoughts. We have a lot of faith that school board members will seriously consider what you have to say.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

Finally, some good news for family caregivers

April 24, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Take the entire population of Kootenai County and, for good measure, toss in another Coeur d’Alene. That’s the rough equivalent of the number of family caregivers residing in Idaho. Yes, 200,000 or...

Comments

Read More

Let’s all vow to be better, starting today

April 21, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Today’s Easter message is brought to you by — well, sorry. We can’t tell you who wrote today’s message. This humble servant recently shared the following words with family and a few close friends. W...

Comments

Read More

Dealing with hate literature: No easy answer

April 19, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press In this beautiful, mostly peaceful place, hatred lurks. Every once in a while it lifts its sick head — and we mean that literally. Anyone who would distribute the kind of disgusting, hateful literat...

Comments

Read More

Singing out loud for unsung tax-time heroes

April 17, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Admit it. Even though Tax Day expired 30 or so hours ago, your face is still twitching. The anxiety remains painfully fresh. Well, as much agony as most Americans endure this time each year, think a...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X