Saturday, May 27, 2023

EDITORIAL: Secret to Cd'A schools levy success

| May 19, 2023 1:00 AM

A whole lot of heroes came through Tuesday for Coeur d’Alene School District.

Exactly 17,602 of them, according to the Kootenai County Elections Office.

That’s how many people voted for the district’s $25 million per year, two-year “supplemental” levy, an impressive turnaround from the staggering loss just two months ago.

Tuesday’s final tally was 17,602 in favor, 10,131 against, showing a tidal wave of support for our schools. In March, the score was 8,616 in favor, 8,977 against.

On the “nay” side, opposition actually grew by 1,154 votes, an increase of just over 11%. But the “yes” vote more than doubled, surging because many sideline sitters in March voted positively on Tuesday.

How did that happen? And what might it portend?

Tremendous credit goes to a grassroots group that did all the little things adding up to a huge win. Citizens for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools — aka YES CDA Schools — stirred far more district residents to vote through an information campaign that was as positive as it was persistent.

Rather than engage in ridiculous culture wars and return volleys of the kind of mud that's spattering public education and other cornerstone institutions in our country today, YES CDA Schools took the high road and stuck to it.

The first item on their website,, was a tool for citizens to look up their polling places. The second item was a calculator so voters could find out exactly how much they’d pay in taxes if the levy passed. Accurate, specific information populated the site without the nastiness and political pollution that some adversaries wield as their chief weapons.

The group met often, worked (and played) hard, knocked on countless doors while embracing this belief: If enough people understand the importance of the levy to the schools and the schools to the community, approval is assured.

They could not have been more right, nor could their success have provided a more powerful affirmation about the majority of people who live here — those who build up their community, not tear it down. For that, The Press heartily hails these outstanding citizens.

Keep in mind that passage of the levy maintains the status quo; it does not represent a windfall. And for those who have been around a while, you can bet that the forces of opposition will double down in the future, because that’s what they’ve been doing for years now.

It’s our fervent hope that all involved with Citizens for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools, in person and through the model they’ve created, don’t take their feet off the gas pedal. There’s much work to be done beyond our schools, particularly outside Coeur d’Alene city limits.

But thanks to them, now there’s tangible reason for hope.

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