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LEVY: Quality high, cost low

| December 8, 2010 4:18 AM

I've attended two Coeur d'Alene School District public forums regarding the spring operating levy. Almost all of the public in attendance has recognized and spoken up for the quality education that children receive in Coeur d'Alene - at one of the lowest prices in Idaho.

The Coeur d'Alene School Board and Administration has demonstrated fiscal discipline and responsibility in very difficult times. Cd'A SD taxpayers' levy rate is significantly lower than 100 of Idaho's 115 school districts. Coeur d'Alene's $1.11 rate operating levy is less than HALF of the state average of $2.91 and less than a third of the average for the 13 large districts at $3.69 average. Neighboring Post Falls levy rate is more than twice that of Coeur d'Alene. Kellogg is more than five times as much as Coeur d'Alene.

Yet Coeur d'Alene ranks above 100 Idaho school districts in performance data: ISAT and IRI scores, etc. The proof is in the DATA. Cd'A SD receives an A+ for providing the best education in the area and for the best (lowest) price. Idaho ranks 50th in the U.S. on per pupil spending on public education. Coeur d'Alene ranks 100th in Idaho in taxing rate, yet Coeur d'Alene students receive a world class education here.

One outspoken critic who has claimed (twice now) to have "not decided yet whether [he] supports the levy on not" previously sent out correspondence to "Tea Party Patriots" stating "This is an opportunity we cannot let slip by, if we want to defeat the levy and/or replace this board with a more responsible and responsive board." I suggest to this critic, a bit more integrity in your words at the meetings. You do NOT support the levy, the board, the administration or public education, so stop the shell game.

He also stated, in his correspondence, "Please forward this to everyone you can, to ensure a big turn-out on Monday. The worst thing that could happen would be if only the "toxic few" showed up." But the truth is - at these meetings the only "toxic few" I have heard is him!

Patriotism includes fulfilling your responsibilities to your country, your fellow Americans, and your community. We have a duty to ensure that children receive the education necessary for the safety and future of themselves and our country.

Finally, for a stark contrast: Coeur d'Alene residents pay about $10 a month on garbage disposal (check your utility bill). The basic replacement levy is less than that! Consider this! You don't get to vote on whether or not to pay your garbage bill. We need to be personally responsible and accountable. We each need to step up, do our fair share and support our quality schools in Coeur d'Alene and the very conservative budget being voted upon that provides it.

D. HUNT

Coeur d'Alene

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