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Encourage vote on levy March 13

Guest Opinion

Guest Opinion

Guest Opinion

— I would like to thank all of the people from the community who have worked to educate the public through social media and face-to-face conversation and to those who contacted me directly to discuss the upcoming supplemental election. The pointed questions and open discussion have shown me that the community is interested in the future of the school and also recognize the good things that the school is doing, to not only teach our children, but adapt to the societal changes that increase the burden on a difficult job.


Steve Higgins

When my cousin Brad and I talk about farming and ranching, he always tells me “if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” This could be said for most jobs, but I know from experience that this statement is definitely true when it comes to teaching students in brick and mortar schools. The expectations from the state and administration combined with parental and community oversight and scrutiny are just the reasons why so many choose not to take the challenge of being an educator.

Being raised on a farm and now working to manage a small farm myself, I understand the importance of being cautious of spending money when I can’t be sure of the income. The same can be said for managing budgets that require local support through property tax elections. My colleague, Marc Scheibe, told the Idaho County Free Press: “I know it’s not the best system to have property taxes bear the brunt of education costs – but what other options do we have?” In the upcoming March 13 levy, Kamiah School District made the decision to reduce facility costs by closing down a building and consolidating our programs. To further help with the financial burden on the community, the district chose to move to a four-day school week. These choices were made to bridge the gap between the money coming in and the increasing costs of running the business. These and a freeze on spending of goods and materials will still not balance the books, but it will help us close the gap. There are no hidden accounts or funds that will magically appear. There is no savings to draw from.

It is a simple decision by the voters in the community…yes or no. Yes will allow us to continue to run a no-frills system, providing students an opportunity to better themselves and support the generation that is in or heading into their retirement years. A no vote will further impact reductions and cuts that will not only change the look of the school, but over time have a negative impact on our community.

Many times I have heard where patrons say that, because of the past, they will not vote for the March 13th election. As you search out the facts and ask questions allowing you to make an educated decision, please keep in mind that this is not the past and that a grudge or disagreement from prior years is only an excuse for the present. People change, organizations change and the opportunity to demonstrate this change needs to be considered. As a building principal, I believed that I needed to give a student responsibility to learn about responsibility. I am asking that from our community in the coming weeks and encourage you to take part in the March 13th election.

As always, please feel free to contact me or your board representatives for any questions you might have.

Levy Facts/Information

  • Levy Amount $500,000.00
  • Personal cost $2.50 per $1,000 Taxable Property Value
  • $250 per $100,000 Taxable Property Value
  • Contact your County Assessor’s office to determine your exemption amount.
  • Approved Levy: Maintain current educational program and support the cost of maintaining the school facility.
  • Failed Levy: Close Kamiah Middle School, Combine 7-12/ K-6 grades in two buildings. Reduction of general fund expenditures.

Please vote, March 13th. Information on registering to vote, absentee voting or any other election questions can be found on your county website or by contacting any Kamiah school.


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