There are many individual reasons to support this proposal to continue the LPOSD levy annually without requiring repeated votes every two years. They all add up to this most important fact: This measure will provide stable funding for our schools.
Stable, predictable funding for our schools will enable the district to focus on its mission and goals to provide an excellent education for our children. And that’s what we want from our schools!
Here are some reasons it should earn your support:
State funding for education is not adequate to meet district needs. Year after year, Idaho ranks lowest in the nation in per pupil funding; we’re currently next to last of all states in per pupil funding. In the most recent figures, Idaho spent $7,486 per pupil. The national average was $12,201.
That leaves it up to the individual districts to raise money. And most do: 93 of Idaho’s 115 school districts have maintenance and operations levy in place.
Voters in the Lake Pend Oreille School District have approved levies to support the district every 2 years for the past 20 years. This measure will eliminate the need for repeated votes every two years.
Eliminating these repeated votes every two years will save us – the taxpayers – money. The costs to hold an election for school district personnel and county elections officials conservatively estimated amounts to more than $10,000 each time. As a practical matter of cost-effective governance, it’s simply inefficient and expensive.
It will provide stability for our teachers, staff and students. Put yourself in the place of any staff member of the district. Wouldn’t the possibility that a third of the workers at your place of employment might be laid off every two years create extra stress?
It will provide stability for our community. Facing the levy vote every two years creates divisions in our community – even though the school levy has been approved for 20 years now. As another practical matter, why not make our decision on this and avoid the repeated conflict?
And we’re getting a good deal for our money! In this 2019 fiscal year, the Lake Pend Oreille School District tax rate was 53% lower than the statewide average. Yet our schools rank consistently in the top percentiles across the state, and our student achievement has increased dramatically in the past 10 years. We’re getting great results with careful, conservative budgets… let’s keep it going!
Good schools and a good education for our children benefits us all. Everyone wants to give kids the best start they can have. They pay us back by becoming productive citizens. They are the future workers and taxpayers who will carry our community and nation forward in the future. Our children are the best investment we can make as a community.
Please … VOTE YES on November 5!