Current county unemployment is 9 percent. Idaho Department of Labor predicts only slow, long comeback beginning next summer. Idaho property foreclosures rank eighth in entire nation. County commissioners see tough times ahead pledging only absolutely necessary/essential expenditures.
LPOSD’s March supplemental levy, however, increases 26 percent; $10,950,000 to $13,646,000; $2,696,000 over current one. Very few of us expect to increase incomes 26 percent in next two years.
Quality essential basic education deserves public support. Future of nation/society depend on it. Key is essential/basic education providing skills to become self-sufficient, a productive citizen: the three Rs, sciences, math, computer skills academically, or trades, auto mechanics, electrical, plumbing, etc.
Extracurricular activities, particularly expensive athletics, fun, nice to have, but hardly essential/absolutely necessary. Shown by private, charter schools without such programs, stressing basic essential educational subjects, usually producing better educated, prepared graduates than traditional public schools.
Idaho doesn’t consider athletics essential as they are not included in the required state curriculum.
In hard times, no levy funding expensive, non-essential extracurricular activities, particularly athletics, should be approved. Simply not a public/property owner responsibility to fund through taxation such non-essential, unnecessary programs. Should be self-funding, pay to play, or eliminated. Only extracurricular programs directly enhancing basic essential subjects are justified.
LPOSD should publish percent/amount of levy funding non-academic,non-trade extra-curricular activities and related staff positions. Might be shocking! Perhaps without these no levy/taxation increase would be required, perhaps a substantial decrease.
A “no” vote for the March levy as currently structured is justified.