North Idaho

Rathdrum voters strike down school levy

RATHDRUM, Idaho - Voters struck down a school levy in the Lakeland School District that's been in place for 40 years.

Voters said no to a plant facility levy that funds school repairs, buying equipment and new school buses. The levy needed 55 percent voter approval. It got just under 53.
It came as a surprise to the school district, which asked voters to approve the 10-year levy which would've amounted to $905,000.

The lack of support surprised parents like Melissa Shirley who said, "I'm kind of shocked. You would think they want the best for their kids. I know I do."

Voters strike down school levy

Whether it was the economy, people paying more attention to spending or because there were two levies on the ballot at the same time, the lack of support puts some projects in limbo like fixing the parking lot at Garwood Elementary.

However for some parents it's not the worst that could happen.

"I worry more about losing teachers and losing programs for the kids. So I wasn't to concerned about it," said parent Sarah Gregory.

A two-year $4.9 Million supplemental levy that was also on the ballot passed.

Even though both levies asked for more money, the school district still thought it would be a good time to approach voters.

"We have a bond levy that's going to go way down next year and a construction levy for a professional technical facility that goes away," said Tom Taggart with the school district.

Now it's back to the drawing board as school leaders figure out whether to put the levy back on the ballot or figure out how to keep working with less.