Voters in the Challis School District determine March 9 whether to approve a $600,000, two-year supplemental levy for the district.
This year, voters are being asked for $200,000 more per year than district officials have sought in previous levy requests. In spite of the bigger ask, Superintendent Lani Rembelski said she’s cautiously confident it will pass.
The district needs every cent to operate, Rembelski said. Since December she and her staff have been doing what they can to educate people on the need.
“These funds will continue our mission of providing a quality education while at the same time producing good citizens,” Rembelski said. The money is added to the district’s general fund and typically used to pay for athletics, paraprofessionals, classroom supplies and wages for classified employees, Rembelski said.
In the past, voters supported the $400,000 per year levy each time district personnel asked for it. Because last year was fraught with difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rembelski said the district needs a little more money from this levy.
Because sports teams didn’t get as much money from event attendance as they usually do, Rembelski said they need extra support.
Also, because district staff have been trying to put a tablet or laptop in every student’s hands, partly to help with remote learning, Rembelski said more money will be needed to maintain those devices, replace them in the future and provide educational software for students.
Some of the money would also pay for on-campus foreign language classes. The district currently uses the Idaho Digital Learning Alliance’s online programs for foreign language instruction, but Rembelski said having a teacher on site would be a big help.
School administrators have put out materials explaining the need of the levy. Rembelski said. According to a flyer they created, a homeowner with a taxable home value of $100,000 can expect to pay about $93 a year to the district if this levy is approved by voters. That compares to about $68 per year that same homeowner pays today to fund the $400,000 levy.
Although the flyers have been put on the district’s website and Facebook pages and the importance of the levy explained to teachers and staff, Rembelski said she hasn’t heard any comments from voters. Rembelski said the lack of feedback might mean people already understand the necessity of this levy and don’t need a reminder.
Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 9. Voters in the Challis precinct cast ballots in the Challis middle school building on Main. Round Valley 1 and 2 precinct residents vote at Challis Legion Hall on Main. The Stanley polling site is the Stanley Community Center. Clayton voters return to the Clayton community center to vote this year. Voters in the Pahsimeroi and Sunol precincts vote by mail.
Voters have until 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26 to ask that an absentee ballot be mailed to them. People can also vote early, in person, at the county courthouse, until 5 p.m. Friday, March 5.