The Cassia School Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution calling for a renewal of the district’s supplemental levy with the election to be held on March 10, 2020. Trustees formally voted December 19th at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The vote took place after several months of study and review of district operational budgets, local tax rates and impact to local taxpayers. Chairman Ryan Cranney stated, “the supplemental levy is a critical part of the school district budget. These funds have been instrumental in improving the safety of our schools, replacing outdated textbooks and curriculum, and modernizing technology for our students. This levy will ensure that we can continue to fund these same initiatives without raising the taxpayer levy rate.” The requested amount is $2,195,000. This amount is an increase of $600,000 from 2018. The increases will cover new initiatives approved by the Board through a strategic planning process.
Projected Supplemental Levy Expenditures 2020-2022 DESCRIPTION LOCATION AMOUNT Science Curriculum Adoption District Wide $300,000 School Nurse (Salary & Benefits) District Wide $55,000 School Resource Officer (part-time) District Wide $25,000 School Classroom Supplies District Wide $370,000 Student Extra-Curricular Activities District Wide $800,000 Connect for Help & Hope District Wide $100,000 Strategic Plan Implementation District Wide $100,000 Library Materials District Wide $100,000 5x5 Block Schedule Transition All High Schools $45,000 Continued Counselor Support BHS & BJHS $100,000 Vocational / CTE Initiative District Wide $100,000 Safety Communication Intercom Improvements District Wide $100,000
Projecting costs to the taxpayer, the Board communicated the favorable position of the district. The levy rate in Cassia County has remained low in comparison to other Idaho districts. The increase in local property values combined with available surplus in bond repayment funds, means the levy amount on the current bond can be reduced for the next two years. The $600,000 increase will not cause the overall school levy rate to increase, meaning taxes will stay the same.
The supplemental levy makes up a small portion of the district’s overall budget and is critical to supporting local initiatives not funded by the state or federal government. Monies stay local and are used to support curriculum, safety, extra-curricular and classroom needs. Vice Chair Heber Loughmiller’s support of the levy centers on “providing professionals the tools they need in the classroom and students access to programs designed to make them workplace ready. Expanding the opportunity for career technical/vocational education is a priority for the Board.” Superintendent, Dr. Jim Shank has endorsed the Board’s action. “We are very grateful for the ongoing support of Cassia County taxpayers. We can’t do the work of education without the community. The March 10, 2020 supplemental levy election is quickly approaching. This two- year levy is a significant component to our budget and represents local priorities that are focused on the advancement of student learning. This year’s election is unique, in that we seek to maximize opportunities without raising the supplemental levy rate.” Voters approve supplemental levies for 2 years and require a simple majority for passage. Cassia’s supplemental levy has been approved consistently for the last 40 years. Patrons can expect detailed information about the needs for the levy, evidence for the increase and the impact to students and communities leading up to the election. More information is available on the district website www.cassiaschools.org.