State Not Funding Schools…

Now that the $55M LPOSD levy has failed, one question remains: Why is the state not funding our school facilities?
In years past, school funding was primarily a property tax-based system. Due to the small population of Idaho, the funding base was unable to meet the needs of school districts.
In 1988, Idaho voters approved a constitutional amendment to implement the state lottery. This amendment was promoted to the people of Idaho on the premise that the dividends from the lottery would go to the Idaho Public School Building Account and the Permanent Building Fund to maintain our school facilities and bring buildings up to code.
However, in 2009, our legislators decided the lottery dividends would be merged with the general fund. The statute change only sets aside a portion of lottery funds above the fiscal year 2008 funding level of $34 million for the Bond Levy Equalization Fund. So dear voters, only a portion of the lottery funds are being used for the original purpose of school facilities, while the State has raided the surplus. With the short fall, property owners are once again on the hook for levies to appropriately fund school facilities. We had a solution in place, but legislators pulled a bait and switch with the funds. How soon we forget!
Before the next legislative session, and before the next levy, I urge voters to lobby their legislators to restore the lottery funds for school facilities. In addition, they should be required to return the funds they’ve raided since 2009, so property owners are not once again on the hook.

Maureen Tillberg

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.