Who Does The LPOSD Levy Really Benefit?
By law, after seven consecutive years of voter-approved levies, school districts have the option of seeking a permanent override levy without having to ask the voters to approve it every two years.
In 2017 when Steve Youngdahl, then-school board chair, was asked if he planned to make the 2017 LPOSD supplemental levy of $17 million permanent, he laughed and said he is against that because then they couldn’t raise the levy amount.
Three months earlier, discussing that levy at a school board meeting, he had called the biennial levy process “very healthy” and necessary because it allowed the board to “scrutinize” budget aspects.
Interestingly, the results of “scrutinizing” the budget aspects always somehow ends up with large increases to biennial levies while at the same time experiencing steady student body count decreases. Logic would dictate that levy increases would be necessary to support student body numbers increase, and, conversely, study body count decreases should result in levy decreases. Oddly, the opposite occurs with these levies. Hum? Who do these levies really benefit?
Here’s what has been happening with LPOSD levies:
2000-2001 levy $2.917 million 4061 students
2019-2020 levy $25.4 million (770% increase over the 2000 levy) 3841 students, including 125 home school students required to attend 2.5 hours per week. (The Lion’s share of this “nest egg” goes to the administrators, not the teachers and their students).
Check it out! How do school administrative salaries and benefits compare to administrative salaries and benefits in the Bonner County private sector?
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