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Area Schools Considering Added Levies Post Falls May Decide Tonight To Seek Levy Of $450,000

The Legislature has decided what it’s giving schools this year, so now school districts have to decide if that’s enough.

Post Falls School District is one of the earliest districts to contemplate the issue. The school board may decide tonight whether to ask voters to tax themselves an additional $450,000 for maintenance and school books.

The administration does not know exactly how much money it will get from the state yet, but it’s pretty sure it won’t cover all the costs of English books.

The district estimates a 5 percent increase in funds, which could be eaten up in the costs of new students, said assistant superintendent Jerry Keane.

“We’re really very preliminary for where we are budget-wise,” Keane said. But, “the curriculum costs are phenomenal.”

A recent management review of the district was critical of the lack of funds for instruction, and the fact that supplemental levies and parent fund raisers are necessary to purchase basic instructional equipment.

The district’s last supplemental levy, a two-year, $450,000 annual levy, was spent on maintenance, instructional materials and computer technology.

The proposed levy would not be used on computers, Keane said, because a recent state technology grant to Kootenai County schools will go toward new computers.

Other North Idaho school districts are waiting until they have more solid figures from the state before planning supplemental levies.

The actual amount individual school districts receive from the $664 million statewide schools appropriation depends on their property value, which the state Tax Commission will not announce until after April 1. That figure determines how much local property tax districts get, which in turn affects their state funding level.

But some other districts also are anticipating supplemental levies.

Bonner County school administrators are looking at a possible $1.5 million to $2 million levy, and Kellogg schools might have to ask for a few hundred thousand dollars more from voters, school officials say.

In other business, the Post Falls school board tonight may decide what to do with its kindergarten students next year. Crowded schools have forced them to consider turning the old Frederick Post school into a center for all the district’s kindergartners.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Post Falls High School cafeteria, at 16th and Williams Street.