LPOSD Can Learn From Charter Schools
Lake Pend Orielle School District (LPOSD) is justifying its large levy increase with must-have higher salaries to be competitive. No one mentions improving student performance. Throwing money at schools does not equal higher student achievement. Money ensures employees turnout at the next levy vote.
We have thrown a lot of money at our schools, especially in recent years. Idaho Education News reports that Idaho’s public school budget grew by 20% in the past three years, and the state now spends $1.8 billion taxpayer dollars per year on education. School districts including LPOSD have benefitted, including four years of teacher “career ladder” salaries, with a fifth to follow this year.
Still, LPOSD consistently claims the levy is necessary to fund a third of its budget, regardless of how much the state kicks-in in. Simply put, state funding goes up, yet levies never come down. Meanwhile, student test scores remain average compared to the rest of Idaho.
The top performing students in Idaho, year after year, are found in charter schools. These schools receive no levy funding whatsoever. Their salaries are well below those of public school employees. Demand for enrollment is so high that 11,000 students statewide are on waiting lists, and enrollment is by lottery. If charter schools can manage without levies, why not LPOSD?
Vote No on the March 12 levy.
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