Board weighs levy options

Print Article

SANDPOINT — School officials are planning the district’s financial future despite a world of fiscal ambiguity .

With large amounts of Lake Pend Oreille School District’s revenue sources still unclear, board members held their final planning session on a supplemental levy proposal. A large number of teachers, students and residents showed up at Kootenai Elementary Tuesday night to weigh in on the matter before the board chooses a final figure in early December.

LPOSD officials face the problem of picking a figure to request from local property taxpayers when future funding is still tenuous. According to district business manager Lisa Hals, it remains to be seen whether or not the district will secure $1,000,000 from an FCC appeal, $80,000 from a sequestration cut, an unknown figure in federal grant estimation and the potential loss of $220,000 from federal forest dollars and $173,250 from the Public Retirement System of Idaho.

Furthermore, Hals said the Idaho K-12 appropriation won’t occur until late March or early April, and that represents 65 percent of the school budget. Finally, the district receives health insurance premium renewal from Blue Cross — a figure of about 8 percent on the budget — in April next year, while they will finalize contracts in June.

“This is like putting the cart in front of the horse,” board chairman Steve Youngdahl said.

Because of the uncertainty, board members cautioned the public that no budget cuts would be a done deal until they have a better idea of the exact dollars and cents.

“We’re not wedded to any of these proposed or suggested cuts right now,” Youngdahl said. “These decisions will be made as fiscal realities become clear.”

In addition to Hals’ presentation, district technology director Randy Wittwer unveiled a more sustainable fiscal plan for his department. Requiring a budget of $900,000 over two years, he said it would save money by changing the strategy for tech purchases, implementing a “Bring Your Own Device” program and infusing technology more thoroughly into the classroom experience.

The board meeting featured a strong turnout from community members. While some encouraged the district to tighten belts and make cuts in nonacademic areas, most took the floor to defend educational programs like math intervention and the arts. Sandpoint High School senior Kristen McPeek and junior Tyson Bird provoked a particularly enthusiastic response for their defense of daytime programs like school newspaper the Cedar Post and student government.

“Thanks to these programs, I have a portfolio that I would not hesitate to submit along with a job application,” Bird said. 

Print Article

Read More News

In northern Myanmar, forgotten Kachin conflict intensifies

AP

April 24, 2018 at 9:57 pm | LAIZA, Myanmar (AP) — On the front lines, the army is pounding rebels with airstrikes and artillery. In the displacement camps, terrified civilians are building bomb shelters of sandbags and stones. ...

Comments

Read More

Asian stocks slip following sell-off on Wall Street

AP

April 24, 2018 at 9:47 pm | TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares dipped Wednesday, mirroring a sell-off on Wall Street on worries over slowing growth and falling profits. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3 percent...

Comments

Read More

New owner sought for historic building

April 24, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald BONNERS FERRY — In 1928 — the year black-and white-animation “Steamboat Willie” first grazed the screens, and then the legendary Amelia Earhart was invited to become the first woman passenger to cros...

Comments

Read More

Work to close railroad crossing

April 24, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — The railroad track on Great Northern — just north of Gooby Road — will be closed for a period of time both Thursday and Friday. The crossing will be closed from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. D...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2018 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X