EDITORIAL: PRESS ENDORSEMENT: Vote 'yes' twice for Lakeland requests
Parents want their school district to be responsive to community needs.
Lakeland Joint School District does that consistently, sometimes marching to the beat of a different drummer — but a drummer the community wishes to follow.
For example, during the COVID-19 crisis, Lakeland officials took one of the most hands-off, stay-in-class stances in the state. District patrons appreciated that role as an outlier for the most part, glad that administration was responsive to their wishes.
When it comes to performance, Lakeland and its 4,300 students show well. Niche.com gives Lakeland a grade of B+. Publicschoolreview.com rates Lakeland a 7 out of 10.
Meantime, the hand-in-glove relationship between schools and community is evident by the lack of much controversy or conflict, either at the school board level or between patrons and educational providers.
Now it’s time for a customer satisfaction test. District voters are being asked March 14 to approve school funding that the state should be providing, but doesn’t. The Press encourages two “yes” votes.
One of those is for a two-year supplemental levy of $9.52 million per year. “Supplemental” is a wretched misnomer, because these funds are essential just to keep intact what’s in place today. Two-thirds of the funds support staff wages. That isn’t supplemental; it’s fundamental.
The other request is a six-year school plant facilities levy for $1.15 million per year. That will help pay for buildings, maintenance, transportation — with no money going to salaries.
Unless and until the state changes course — Idaho consistently ranks at the very bottom in its K-12 per-student investment despite positive strides by Gov. Brad Little and former Gov. Butch Otter — “supplemental” levies are the only way most districts have to maintain status quo.
We should all strive for more for our community's students. Your support for Lakeland, Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene levies March 14 is at least a step in the right direction.
Lakeland levy info: https://bit.ly/3IAYJMd