SANDPOINT — The honks and hollers of support from those in passing cars energized Sandpoint High School students Friday as more than 40 teens marched in support of the Lake Pend Oreille School District's supplemental levy.
"It's awesome," said SHS sophomore Riley Walkington about midway through the march. "It's very successful and the feedback has been pretty good."
Walkington, along with seniors Charlie Crane and Mitchell Rust, organized the march after attending an informational meeting on the levy.
"We heard there were some polls taken about the levy, and that there was a little more of a 'no' atmosphere on the vote than in years past," Rust said.
After attending the meeting and getting more information about the levy, the trio wanted to raise awareness on how much the levy means to the students — to keep the same opportunities they have now.
"We appreciate all the opportunities we have and hope to continue offering those opportunities to students in the future," Crane said.
Dressed mostly in school colors, the teens grabbed their "vote yes" signs and, with energy and enthusiasm for the task, made their way from Safeway, along Fifth Avenue to Cedar Street, down Cedar to Pine Street and back up Fifth Avenue to return to Safeway.
Although they got a few "thumbs down" signals from some passersby, the majority of the feedback during the march was positive as stated by Walkington.
The proposed two-year, $17 million levy goes to voters Tuesday and is a replacement of the district's current two-year supplemental levy that expires in June.
The supplemental levy funds about 30 percent of the district's operations and, if passed, will provide $8.3 million to the district in the first year and $8.7 million the second year.
The current rate for taxpayers is $176 per $100,000 of net taxable value. At $8.3 million for the first year of the proposed levy, the rate for taxpayers would increase to $180 per $100,000 of net taxable value — a $4 increase from the current rate. In the second year, at $8.7 million, the rate would be $184 per $100,000 of net taxable value.
Levy dollars in the district fund one-third of all staff, all academic and athletic extracurricular activities, technology and curricular material, professional development, will extend full-day kindergarten and support Clark Fork Junior/Senior High School's experiential learning program. The proposed levy would also support an elementary school counselor and full-time certified nursing assistant.
The students are also promoting a door-to-door effort in support of the levy scheduled over the weekend, organized by 2003 SHS graduates Luke Mayville and Garrett Strizich. Grassroots volunteers will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sandpoint Community Hall, 204 S. First Ave., and again at 10 a.m. Sunday. All are invited to join the effort.
Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.