On November 5, 2019, residents of the Lake Pend Oreille School District are being asked to approve a ballot measure to continue the current maintenance and operations levy into future years.
This is NOT a proposal for a new levy. Rather, it will stabilize funding for our schools by continuing the levy that voters approved last March, without requiring additional votes in the future. Here are the facts about the continuing levy:
- Currently, the school district must stage a vote every two years to ask voters to approve a “supplemental” levy for instruction, maintenance and operations. This levy is no longer supplemental; it now constitutes about a third of the district’s budget. Should it ever fail, the district would require drastic cuts.
- Voters in the Lake Pend Oreille School District have passed a levy every other year for 20 years – consistently recognizing the crucial importance of the levy to provide a good education for our children.
- The ballot measure before voters this November 5 is asking them to continue the current levy approved in March for an “indefinite term,” meaning the levy will no longer require a recurring vote every two years.
- But this is no “blank check” for the district. Should the district ever want to increase the levy, that increase would once again go before the voters for approval.
The current two-year levy provides $12.7 million in 2020 and $12.7 million in 2021 for the district’s operations. This is the funding that would be continued annually, and it constitutes 35% – more than one-third – of the school district’s operating funds. Should the levy ever fail to pass, the district would be forced to make deep cuts to staff, defund all extracurricular activities, cut its technology and more. Get details on the What Does It Fund page»
Some facts about funding and taxes:
- Idaho ranks next to last in the nation in per pupil spending. In the most recent census year, 2017, Idaho spent $7,486 per pupil, while the national average was $12,201.
- This puts responsibility on local communities to ensure the needs of their children. This year 93 of Idaho’s 115 school districts have levies to help fund operations and maintenance.
- Even with our current levy in place for LPOSD, our tax expenditure is very conservative within Idaho. LPOSD’s school tax rate is 53 percent below the state average.
- But we’re getting great results for our money! Student achievement in our district has made significant strides in the past decade. We’re now one of the leading districts in Idaho.
The bottom-line question for our community is about ensuring a good education and bright future for the children of the Lake Pend Oreille School District. Our children are the best investment we can make as a community. They are the future workers, citizens and taxpayers who will carry our community and nation forward in the future. Giving our kids a good start in life helps us all.
Please … join us in voting YES for the continuing levy on November 5!