Monday, May 20, 2024

MY TURN: 'Don't listen to the lies'

by NANCY S. HART/Guest Opinion
| March 23, 2023 1:00 AM

As a lifelong North Idaho resident and public education advocate, I am completely devastated following the March 14 levy losses in the Coeur d'Alene School District.

The "vote no" campaign, led by Brent Regan and the KCRCC, was nothing but blatant lies and disgusting messaging. It was an ugly, toxic opposition effort that was a disgrace to any form of decency. Shame on you.

The essential maintenance and operations levy funds over 25% of the district's budget. The district is required by the state of Idaho to run the levy every two years. Don't listen to the lies of the KCRCC. Public school districts in Idaho have no choice. Since 1986, we have run levies in Coeur d'Alene with full support of our community while maintaining one of the lowest levy rates in the state. Now, we are fighting for the future of quality public education in Coeur d'Alene.

Let me paint the picture for you of what will happen without levy funds. School athletic programs and extracurriculars? Gone. Art, music and P.E.? Gone. Advanced learning programs? Gone. School Resource Officers? Gone. School nurses? Gone. Special education services? Gone. Career technical education classes? Gone. Technology devices? Gone. Textbooks and classroom supplies? Gone. Custodial services? Gone. Maintenance and transportation staff and vehicles? Gone. I could list much more. I hope this is sufficient to wake our community up.

I was born and raised in North Idaho. I have been involved in public education advocacy for 15 years. I was once proud to say I am from this area. I can no longer say that. Our kids ask why we live here. Their friends are leaving this area post-high school and not returning. Our beautiful community has been tarnished by the KCRCC. We are on the precipice of losing our strong, solid public education because of this radical, abhorrent group.

To those multi-generational North Idaho families calling this home, this is my call to action. Stand up, speak out, yell out at the top of your lungs what is happening to your home. We can no longer be complacent. We must stand up and fight the ugliness of the KCRCC with everything we have. The future of our home is at stake. This is the most dire time public education in Coeur d'Alene has ever faced.

• • •

Nancy S. Hart is a third-generation North Idaho native. She has spent the last 15 years advocating for public education as a parent, community volunteer and substitute teacher.