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Vote on Tuesday - State funding comes with caveats

For the 2018-19 school year, the levy will be 23 percent of the $13,210,582 budget.

Credit: MVSD 244
For the 2018-19 school year, the levy will be 23 percent of the $13,210,582 budget.

— Additional funding from the state of Idaho for education is good news, right? Yes, but don’t put away your checkbooks just yet.

“The increase in state funding for next year is a little more than $300,000 for Mountain View School District 244,” said school district business manager Becky Hogg. This means the share of MVSD’s daily operating costs paid by the state has increased from the current level of 65 percent to 66 percent.

Hogg explained the district’s position has been to use additional state funding to offset or reduce the local share (levy) whenever possible.

However, patrons have to take into consideration that most of the money that comes from the state is non-discretionary, or earmarked.

“It is legally restricted for a particular use,” she said. So, of that $300,000 amount, only $49,000 is discretionary.”

For the 2017-18 school year, the local maintenance and operations levy paid for 21 percent of the MVSD total budget of $12,952,075. The state covered 65 percent and forest reserves made up 8 percent of the budget while other local and federal funds made up 6 percent. For the 2018-19 school year, the levy will be 23 percent of the $13,210,582 budget (see pie chart, 1A).

“The unique story for MVSD and the reason the levy amount has increased for next year has its roots in our traditional reliance on using money from the Federal Forest Reserve Fund in order to keep our levy low for taxpayers,” Hogg said.

However, the 2015-16 school year was the last year MVSD received a check for the SRS (Secure Rural Schools) funding, which was just more than $992,000. The district continues to receive the 25 percent timber funds, accounting for about $50,000 annually.

MVSD is on the lower end of cost per thousand of taxable market value, coming in at $3.17 for 2017-18. For comparison, Kendrick is at $7.81, Moscow is at $7.01, Lewiston is at $6.50, Orofino at $5.02, Nezperce at $3.94, Salmon River at $3.82, Highland at $3.59 and Cottonwood is at $2.37.


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