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Focus on Education

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What does the levy mean for our students?

On March 20, the Lake Pend Oreille School District will place before voters an 8.96 million dollar replacement levy to support our schools. In the next two columns that I write, I will provide information for readers that will help them make an informed choice on this critical topic. Below is some information from the District’s fact sheet.

Why do we need the proposed replacement levy?

The 2005 levy expires on June 30, 2007.

The State of Idaho funds only 68 percent of the District’s current overall expenses and 80 percent of the current operational expenses.

Schools continue to experience increasing costs due to the following: fuel, utilities, paper, labor, insurance, etc. Maintenance costs, transportation costs, food service needs continue to increase.

We need to continue to support improvements in student achievement, success in academic and athletic competition, and most of all preparing students to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Are we alone in asking for a replacement levy?

No. In fact, 97 percent of the school districts in Idaho count upon voter approved levies. Half of them rely on replacement levies to support their day to day operations.

Will this replacement levy support the construction of new buildings or remodeling?

No. Dollars from this levy will  not be spent upon construction or remodeling.

What will this replacement levy support?

This levy will be used specifically to support curriculum materials and instruction, activities and athletics, technology, staffing, kitchen equipment, maintenance, and pupil transportation.

Will this levy be added onto my current taxes for school?

No. On June 30 the 2005 levy expires. This will simply replace the current levy.

How does our levy cost compare to our neighbors and state?

Currently, residents of our district pay approximately $68 per $100,000 dollars of assessed taxable value. West Bonner residents pay approximately $48; Coeur d’Alene $112; Lakeland $160; Post Falls $222; Boundary County $234. The statewide average is $310, a full four and one half times more than residents of the Lake Pend Oreille School District.

How much will this cost me to support the replacement levy?

If you have the Homeowner’s Exemption you would see the following change per month) if the replacement levy is successful:

A home with an assessed value of $100,000 is currently paying $2.85 per month. The cost would increase to $3.75 per month, an increase of 90 cents.

A home with an assessed value of $200,000 is currently paying $7.14 per month. The cost would increase to $8.30 per month, an increase of $1.16.

A home with an assessed value of $250,000 is currently paying $9.99 per month. The cost would increase to $12.05 per month, an increase of $2.06.

A home with an assessed value of $300,000 is currently paying $12.84 per month. The cost would increase to $15.80 per month, an increase of $2.96.

A home with an assessed value of $350,000 is currently paying $15.70 per month. The cost would increase to $19.55 per month, an increase of $3.85.

A home with an assessed value of $400,000 is currently paying $18.55 per month. The cost would increase to $23.30 per month, an increase of $4.75.

Clearly, this is an increase, but one that is very minimal to keep our schools serving our children, families, and communities well. 

In my next column I will outline specific items in the proposed levy, improvements our last replacement levy made in our school program, how we kept our promise on how we would spend the dollars, and finally and most importantly, the academic growth our students made.  We are proud of their progress. We are a good district that is working to be great!

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Author info

Dick Cvitanich Dick Cvitanich is the Superintendent of Schools for the Lake Pend Oreille School District. He has been an educator for 33 years, and became superintendent for LPOSD in 2006. He was educated at the University of Washington where he earned a BA in History and a Superintendent's Credential. He has been married to Diane for 32 years and they have raised three sons who "taught us as much as we taught them." "I have a passion for public education and the role it plays in our democracy. In my free time I read, ski ... come to think of it, I don't have that much free time."

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Lake Pend Oreille School District, funding, Supplemental levy

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