BLACKFOOT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 55
Supplemental Levy Frequently Asked Questions
When considering a supplemental levy, there are always points in need of clarification and explanation in an effort to help district patrons understand the need for a supplemental levy. This information is being shared to help our community better understand the purpose of the supplemental levy and to answer some of the most frequently asked questions concerning the district’s supplemental levy:
1. What is the amount of the supplemental levy?
Our current levy is for $2,150,000 and expires in December 0f 2019. The proposed supplemental levy is for $2,275,000 and would be good for two years.
2. How is the supplemental levy amount determined?
The Blackfoot School District seeks input from our finance committee composed of parents, patrons, administrators, and teachers that review the finances of the district and set goals to meet the needs of the children of our community.
3. How many years have the Blackfoot patrons supported the district’s supplemental levy?
The patrons of the Blackfoot School District have been highly supportive of the supplemental levy since 1987. A supplemental levy has been approved by the patrons since its inception in 1987.
4. What have been past supplemental levy amounts?
A supplemental levy was first approved by patrons in 1987 for the amount of $895,000. Between 1988 and 1993, the levy was in the amount of $850,000. From 1993 to 2007, the levy was approved for $975,000. In 2007, the patrons supported the levy for $1,975,000 which has continued through 2015. In 2015, voters approved the levy in the amount of $2,600,000. Two years later, the levy was decreased to $2,150,000 which was approved by voters.
5. What are the goals set by the finance committee for the use of the supplemental levy funds?
The finance committee has established three goals for the use of the supplemental levy funds:
1. Keeping salaries and benefits competitive with surrounding districts in order to attract and retain highly qualified and effective educators and support staff. Approximately 80% of levy funds go to enhance salaries and benefits for our staff. Our current teachers’ salary schedule pays our teachers in excess of $1,000,000 above what our state funds for teacher salaries. Our current support staff salary schedules pay our staff in excess of $720,000 above what our state funds for support staff.
The remaining 20% is shared between the next two goals, dependent upon what the state approves for funding.
2. Enhancing the classroom environment through technology and instructional resources to provide students with 21st century learning opportunities.
3. Maintaining and improving district facilities in a manner that encourages learning and fosters feelings of security and pride.
6. Why is the levy ballot language general and non-specific?
The ballot language used by the District is dictated by Idaho Statute. The general maintenance and operation fund for the school district is used to pay “all lawful expenses of maintaining and operating the schools of the District”. Since the levy is placed in the general and maintenance fund, the District must designated the levy’s use as the same use as this fund. The ballot language used by the Blackfoot School District is consistent with language used by schools throughout the state.
7. When is the supplemental levy election, where do I vote?
The supplemental levy election will be held on March 12, 2019 and voting will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. You will vote at your local voting precinct.