CDA School District Long Range Planning Committee 11/28/22 Recap
The CDA School District Long Range Planning Committee (LPRC) met for the last time in 2022 and the discussion was primarily focused on the two levies that the school board approved to put on the March 2023 ballot.
I am going to give an overview summary of the agenda but if you would like to see the play by play of my live Telegramming, go to my Telegram channel and start with this post.
ISBA Annual Convention
The Idaho School Boards Association held their annual convention in Coeur d’Alene at the beginning of November and representatives of every Idaho school district were in attendance. The ISBA is a school board advocacy group that “advocates for Idaho students and public education with leadership and service for local school boards.” They work with school boards to bring forth legislative policy and lobby at the state legislature. Once a year the entire membership gets together at the convention and they vote on resolutions that the ISBA will bring to, and lobby for, bills at the 2023 legislature.
This year the membership voted to bring 14 resolutions to the legislature but 4 resolutions were specifically mentioned in the LRPC meeting:
Proposal to increase SPFL levy terms from 10 years to 20. (Erin: This is the same sort of levy that failed in Kootenai County last August.)
West Bonner School District found a random fund in state law books that had no appropriations attached to it and membership voted to propose that the random fund be appropriated to the school districts. (Erin: Can we talk for a second about how West Bonner School District is KILLING IT right now??? West Bonner School District finally got a conservative swing to the board last year. They voted to throw out their curriculum and are working with Hillsdale University to get recommended K-12 curriculum and THEN they find a random non-appropriated state fund that's already on the books and just need the state legislature to appropriate it for the schools. AMAZING what could happen with a conservative school board.)
Proposal to allow school districts to collect impact fees.
Proposal to allow K-12 schools be eligible to have a permanent building fund and then have the Idaho legislature appropriate money to that fund.
The school board approved TWO levies to put on the March 2023 ballot:
Another try at the SPFL levy (that failed in August 2022) in the amount of $5,000,000 per year for the next 5 years. This is the levy that was to help with deferred maintenance that failed in August 2022, and after it failed the school district found $5M to put in the maintenance fund that they are using for some of that deferred maintenance right now.
PERMANENT supplemental M&O levy in the amount of $25,000,000 per year FOREVER, or until $25M doesn’t cover school district costs anymore. The superintendent cannot be for certain how long $25M will cover costs, he’s just sure it won’t be for a few years at least. This permanent levy is to replace the levy that is on the ballot every two years. The superintendent argued, and the board agreed in a 3-2 vote, that the reason they needed to ask for the most amount of money in district history, is because inflation is so high right now that their dollar isn’t going as far as they need it to go. No mention on how this will affect the community once the economy crashes.
After the board report was done, the LRPC discussed the March 2023 levies for the rest of the meeting. Jeff Voeller, Director of Operations, opened the discussion with a recap from the last school board meeting on the overview of projects they are prioritizing with the $5M of “found” money after the August 2022 SPFL levy failed.
For the full project priority overview deck click here and for the detailed Excel spreadsheet list of everything on that priority list click here.
After the overview was complete the LRPC started discussing how to package the information that needs to get out to the community to make an informed decision regarding the March levies. The school board has already approved to spend $60,000 on a marketing firm to create/manage a communications plan to inform the public about the levies; the LRPC discussion was more to see if there was a different way to get the information out. Listing out all the programs that are not covered by the state and so would be removed if the permanent M&O levy fails, quick informative videos showing the areas of the buildings that need work for the SPFL levy, and student-produced videos were part of the discussion.
Below is a reminder of what the M&O levy funds cover that are not covered by state funds, pulled from the levy presentation at the October 17, 2022 board workshop.
The rest of the time during the Long Range Planning Committee meeting was spent educating the committee on what parts of district policy was a state statute or a district decision.
The planning committee is set to meet next on January 23, 2023 to start the planning for the levy communications.
Committee adjourned at 6pm.