RATHDRUM, Idaho -- The Lakeland Joint School District could lose critical programs like after-school sports and armed officers in schools if two proposed levies fail.
Officer John Hatcher keeps Lakeland High School secure and safe, while also building meaningful relationships with students.
"How do you put a price on the safety of our children and our staff members?" Hatcher said.
Without the $9.52 million provided by one of the levies, Hatcher may have to say goodbye to walking the halls.
"I don't do this job for the money. I do it because I love it," he said.
The Lakeland School District currently has four armed guards and three school resource officers to keep students and staff safe, but their jobs are not funded by the state.
"It's a vote for the right thing to do. Our world is going to hell in a hand basket. We know that, and it's an unfortunately necessary that we're here," Hatcher said.
Kim Manning has four grandchildren in the district, and she voted yes last time in March, and will do the same next month.
"I really think that all the schools need all the help they can get to keep up with the education, and the equipment," Manning said.
Without the supplemental levy, athletics, choir, and band could see drastic changes. The supplemental levy goes to all extracurricular activities costs from transportation, safety equipment, and uniforms. The funds also go to co-curriculars, which include Business Professionals of America, and Future Farmers of America.
"We throw the number around $9.5 million that's a lot of people. 100 teachers is $7 million dollars just to put it in perspective. That's a third of our teaching staff," said Superintendent Lisa Arnold.
The supplemental levy is $9.52 million a year for two years, and the plant facilities levy is $1.14 million, which goes towards maintaining buildings.
The School Board hasn't had conversations about what exactly will be cut, but if the community says no at the polls again, the district has a hard job ahead.
"They really don't want people to feel threatened. They want to hear from the community about what do you want our district to look like and the vote will tell us that," Arnold said.
Arnold says the county could see $1.5 to $1.6 million in property tax relief because of a new law signed into law by Gov. Brad Little. If the levies are approved, the district would still collect the money but taxpayers' payments could be reduced.
15.9% of registered voters participated in the March levy election.
Vanessa Perez joined the 4 News Now team as a Multimedia Journalist and producer in August 2021. Previously, she worked for an NBC affiliate in Kalispell, Montana where she covered winter storms, education, local government and the pandemic. Vanessa grew up in Chino, California. She earned a degree in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts from San Francisco State University. She enjoys being out in the community and learning about people’s stories each day. When she’s not working, you can catch her listening to podcasts, cooking, trying new food/coffee spots, and hanging out with her cat, Milo.