Tiny Idaho School District Seeking Tax Relief

By Tom Bacon

A tiny Idaho school district is again asking taxpayers for an emergency infusion of money to ward off draconian cuts. The Plummer-Worley school district south of Coeur d' Alene depends on state and federal funding to educate about 400 kids. It has no local property tax base.

But the state and federal funding programs have steadily shriveled since 2007, forcing the Plummer-Worley district to eliminate athletic programs, to cut back classes to a 4-day week, to impose unpaid furlough days on staff,, and to cut the kindergarten program back to part-time.

Just last May, voters refused to approve a supplemental levy meant to ward off some of those cuts.
But district managers see no alternative but to ask them again to approve a two-year levy that would raise about 550-thousand dollars each year.

School superintendent Judi Sharrett said the election Tuesday is critical to make up for the cuts mandated by sequestration. She said 36 percent of the district's operating funds come from the federal government.

Sharrett said that supplemental levies were once meant to provide what she called "the extra stuff." such as advanced placement programs. But now, it means the basic stuff.
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