More than 50 parents called on district officials Wednesday to consider parity between Coeur d’Alene and Lake City high schools when choosing a school levy proposal.
“I don’t have to go outside to look at the condition of this school,” parent Woody Woods said as he held up a broken seat cushion in the Coeur d’Alene High School auditorium.
The school board will discuss a revised levy proposal Monday and is expected to vote on the issue April 6.
The two-year, $10 million levy proposed by the district’s long-range planning committee calls for $4.8 million to build an elementary school in the northwest part of the city, $2.1 million for additions to Dalton Elementary School and $510,000 for playground equipment at seven elementary schools.
The remaining money, about $2.5 million, would be spent modernizing Coeur d’Alene High School.
Previous recommendations by the committee called for a four-year, $19.8 million levy, with $12.4 million going toward high school modernization.
But committee members decided the cost would be too high for the community.
Superintendent David Rawls agreed that parity between the almost 30-year-old Coeur d’Alene High and the sparkling 4-year-old Lake City High is important. But he said there are also $44 million in needed repairs throughout the district.
“We have to eat elephants sometimes a bite at a time,” Rawls said.
Some parents said they felt cheated by the district because they were promised repairs at Coeur d’Alene when they voted to build Lake City.
“I just see a lot of doublespeak, a lot of doubletalk and a lot of people with short memories,” said Mark Normington, the father of five children.
“Just because Abraham Lincoln was educated in a log cabin doesn’t mean we have to do that here.”
Steve Gatten, who has nine children, said the community should support a four-year levy instead of a two-year one because renovations at the school are progressing so slowly.
“It’s taking so long that a man with nine children isn’t going to see it happen,” said Gatten, who has had five children graduate from Coeur d’Alene so far.
“We’d like to get this done in somebody’s lifetime.”
If the board approves the proposed levy, 55 percent of the voters must support it in an election on May 19 for it to pass.
, DataTimes MEMO: What’s next The school board will discuss a revised levy proposal Monday and is expected to vote on the issue April 6.