KOOTENAI — With statewide education reform dominating recent headlines, Lake Pend Oreille School District educators are struggling to differentiate the supplemental levy.
LPOSD Superintendent Dick Cvitanich has been making rounds throughout the district, dropping by school and parent organizations to discuss the merits of the supplemental levy. Thus far, he has given 11 presentations, a figure that will probably increase to between 20 and 30 before the March 8 vote.
“I really feel like we’ve tried to tap into as many sources as possible here, and I think the response has been strong from the community,” he told the school board at Kootenai Elementary School on Tuesday. “People understand that there is a crisis around education funding in Idaho.”
In the remaining weeks before the vote, the district plans to escalate its information campaign with radio advertisements and home mailings. District educators have also taken to town streets on Sundays using vehicles with messages advocating levy support.
However, Cvitanich said that the debates over Idaho education reform occurring in Boise are making their efforts for levy support more difficult. He added people are associating the increase with the proposed implementation of new educational policies, when in fact, it will merely be maintaining business as usual in LPOSD schools.
“We’re hoping that the levy doesn’t get sucked into debate when it’s entirely a separate issue,” Cvitanich said. “We need to make it clear that this levy is critical regardless of what’s going on in Boise.”