There won’t be any school closures in Boundary County, where voters Tuesday approved a levy to keep the school district running at its current level.
The $439,000 supplemental levy won the support of 56.8 percent of voters.
The final tally: 1,398 “yes” votes to 1,059 opposed.
School board member Leonard Kucera had a simple response to the news: “Relief.”
“Now we can get on with things educationally, and not worry about money for a few days,” he said.
There was more good news for the district Tuesday. The Kootenai Tribe announced it would present school officials with a $93,000 check today.
The money comes from gaming profits at the Kootenai River Inn and Casino, which the tribe operates.
Tribal officials said the donation reinforces their commitment to schools.
The tribe had promised to share gambling proceeds in return for the school board’s support of tribal gaming during the recent legislative session.
Earlier this year, the tribe donated $9,000 for the purchase of English books.
Three school levies in the county failed last year, falling short of the required minimum of 50 percent voter approval.
School board members have been seriously discussing closing an elementary school, or the junior high, if Tuesday’s measure failed.
Double-shifting students was another unpopular option.
Textbook purchases would have been made every seven years instead of every five, and a teaching position would have been lost.
Students, who are already paying up to $200 to participate in sports, would have had to pay more.
Organized opposition to the recent levies has come from the Boundary County Property Owners Association.
Members believe administrators’ salaries and other expenses are too high.
Passage of the one-year levy means a person with a $60,000 home on a $10,000 lot and a homeowners’ tax exemption will pay $42 in additional taxes.