• supplemental levy

    Supplemental Levy FAQs  

    CLICK HERE - PDF Version Levy FAQs

    What funding does the District receive from the State?

    Through the state funding formula, our District receives $66.8 million for our general operating fund. The District relies on the current $20 million supplemental levy to fill the gap in funding. The maintenance and operations/supplemental levy accounts for approximately 25% of our current budget.

    The District’s general operating budget is currently $89 million. Salaries and benefits make up the majority of our budget at 84%. 

    Idaho‘s education funding structure has specifically been set up to require districts to levy local property taxes to fill the gap left in state revenues. Idaho’s levy tax system is very different from other states and until action can be taken at the state and legislative level, over 80% of districts across Idaho exercise a levy in order to meet community expectations.

    Why is the District asking for $5 million more?

    The District is asking for an increase of $5 million to increase teacher and support staff wages and hire additional security staff.

    The District would use $2.25 million to increase classified wages (hourly employees) to a minimum starting wage of $15 an hour and to eliminate areas of the salary schedule where salaries are frozen, $2.25 million to increase teacher salaries, including raising starting teacher pay and also eliminate areas of the salary schedule where salaries are frozen, and $500,000 to hire additional security staff that will serve our elementary and middle schools

    What would happen if the levy does not pass?

    The loss of the $20 million supplemental levy would have devastating impacts to our schools and staff. Since our budget consists of about 84% salaries, the majority of the cuts would be in salaries and benefits. The cuts on salaries and benefits could be up to $16.8 million (84% of $20 million). Class sizes would be significantly impacted with estimated increases of 10 students. 

    The supplemental levy dedicates $16.8 million to pay for 157 teachers and certified staff (nurses, counselors, school psychologists), 13 administrators (principals, assistant principals and district administration), and 139 support staff (classroom aides, custodians, office staff, bus drivers).


    Percentage of the Salary Budget


    Amount of  Levy Based on % of Budget

    B = A * $16.8M

    Average Salary & Benefits for Each Position


    Positions Covered by Levy


    Teachers and Certified Staff





    Principals, Assistant Principals & Administrators





    Support Staff





    The remaining cuts would need to come from non-salary-related costs like textbooks, instructional technology, teacher training, materials, and classroom supplies. The District would have to cut our school resource officer (SRO) program and eliminate most, if not all, athletic programs. 

    Why is the levy so important for salaries?

    The state does not fund the full cost of a staff member. The state funds our district with $50,372 for a teacher, $75,500 for a principal and administrator, and $24,800 for support staff (these amounts exclude associated benefits). Although all salaries are underfunded, support staff  is extremely underfunded. The state support of $24,800 for support staff  equates to $11.90 per hour.

    General Operating Fund Positions

    State Revenue

    District’s Actual Cost

    Gap in  Funding

    570 Teachers & Certificated Staff




    275 Support Staff and Pay




    20 Principals, 19 Assistant Principals and 10 Administration




    Budget and Fiscal Transparency:

    The District wants to ensure the public has access to budgets, financial reports, and other resources to have a complete and transparent understanding of our financial operations. Here are some of the ways the Board of Trustees ensures fiscal responsibility: 

    • Throughout the year, the board is given monthly budget and financial reports and a listing of all expenditures which includes the vendor and amount . These documents can be found in the board agendas. Payroll expenditures are also made available and uploaded to the District’s website under Departments > Finance.

    • Two members of the board also are part of the District’s budget subcommittee. Prior to budget adoption, the budget subcommittee meets to review all budget changes, revenue estimates and other impacts on the budget.

    • Prior to budget adoption, the District holds a budget hearing, with a notice published in the newspaper to give our community the opportunity to review the budget. At the budget hearing, the District provides education on how Idaho school districts are funded and the components that go into making the budget. The budget hearing presentations are made available in the District's board packet and recordings are available to view.

    • In a subsequent meeting after the budget hearing, the budget is adopted by the Board of Trustees. Adopted budgets are made available on the District’s website.

    • The District is audited once a year by an independent auditor approved by the State of Idaho. The audit includes tests to determine that the proper internal controls are in place and expenditures and revenue adhere to Board policy, local, state and federal law. Annual audit reports are available on the District's website.

      • Coeur d'Alene Public Schools has received clean audits each year for over two decades.

    • The State Department of Education also provides extensive review of programs, grants and transactions. Detailed expenditure reports are due to the state throughout the year.

    • There is also extensive Board policy in place to ensure there are proper controls and governance over district transactions. Board policy is available on the District website and there is a section dedicated to Fiscal Management.

      Detailed Ballot Expenditure Listing   

    $1,280,000: Athletics and Extracurricular Activities 

    The State does not fund Districts for athletic and extracurricular programming including coaching staff, travel, and equipment. The levy covers almost $1 million in coaching pay and $300,000 in travel.

    $1,316,000: Textbooks, Learning Materials and Staff Training 

    With approximately 10,000 students in the Coeur d’Alene School District, the levy provides approximately $132 per student per year to provide the textbooks, curriculum licenses, materials, and teacher professional development needed to educate our students. Books that help our youngest students learn how to read, texts that help students at all levels master math, resources that help students explore science, and engaging videos and programs that make the past come alive, all come from this levy funding.

    We know curriculum is important to our community, and our community has made it possible for our students to have access to the best textbooks and instructional resources with the current levy. This year, the district has two adoptions planned for 2022-23. Committees of community volunteers and educators are working to identify textbooks for elementary (grades K-5) reading and writing, and for secondary (grades 6-12) science. Next year school year (2023-2024), committees will form to identify textbooks and resources for secondary English and elementary science.

    $1,655,000: Safety & Security: School Resource Officers, Staffing, Services and Supplies 

    The community has made the commitment to fund nine School Resource Officers (SROs) with the current levy. The state provides no funding for our SROs. With levy funding, we are also able to staff our elementary schools with crossing guards, playground aides and with campus security officers at our high schools. We have identified the need for continued security and safety measures, including more safety staff present at our elementary schools. $500,000 is included in our $5 million increase request to our supplemental levy

    $1,189,000: Health: School Nurses and Mental Health Support

    The role of schools is to educate students.  There are some students who show up to school with unmet needs that keep them from being ready to learn.  Student services have been created to support these students in many ways so they can be more successful in school.  

    Our supplemental levy provides our nursing program which helps students in many ways.

    School nurses help create a safe and healthy learning environment for students. They teach students how to be healthy and prevent injuries, and take care of students who do get sick or hurt while at school. School nurses take care of students who have asthma, allergies, diabetes, seizures, and other diseases and make sure that teachers and staff know how to take care of them in the classroom. Their goal is to make sure that all students have equal access to education while managing their chronic health conditions. 

    The levy also allows us to have a Mental Health Coordinator and Specialist who provide an assortment of support services for students and staff.  The mental health team helps to  organize and support the crisis assistance team which is made up of thirteen teachers and counselors who are available to respond to schools after a student or staff incident or death.  We provide annual suicide prevention training for all staff which includes QPR (suicide prevention - Question, Persuade, Refer) and our Sources of Strength program which is now in all 17 of our district's schools.  The levy helps to support Mental Health Counselors in schools where students can receive therapy from Heritage Health or Ambitions of Idaho Counselors during school hours if there are barriers for them to receive these services outside of school.  These services are provided, with parent understanding and permission, to over 40 students in eight schools.  The levy also helps support teachers to receive professional development training and direct coaching in understanding students and how to manage behaviors using research-based models such as Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), Neurosequential Model of Therapy (NMT), and Positive Behavioral Intervention Services (PBIS) among others.   Finally, the levy has helped to develop our new facility dog Program where trained and vetted dogs can be allowed in school to support students and staff.  We currently have three approved animals with more applications on the way.  

    $2,820,000: Classroom and School Resources such as Teacher Supplies, Library materials, Special Education Services

    There is a science to teaching that our staff learns through training and licensure, and there is an art that excellent teachers demonstrate that makes their classrooms unique. The levy provides supplies to supplement the adopted curriculum resources, as well as the opportunities for the integration of art, music, and technology in each of our elementary schools. In addition, this provides essential resources for learners who might need extra support to be successful in every classroom. This can include support from outside agencies, additional supplies, and additional services a student may need.

    $3,350,000: Elective, Enrichment and Career Technical Education Classes

    The levy supports more than $16.8 million in salaries, including the salaries of our elective teachers. The District currently offers 431 elective courses throughout all grade levels in our schools. Many electives are not required by state law, but without them our schools would be unrecognizable. Without the levy, we would be forced to scale back electives in order to focus on the bare minimum that is required by law.

    When a student attends a Coeur d'Alene public school, they receive classes in art, music, physical education, career and technical education, technology, leadership, and library skills, among others. Learning about physical activity, reading from rich literature, gaining 21st century technology skills, as well as lessons in art and music are all part of the education of our community’s children. Learning to play a musical instrument during one’s childhood is a lifelong gift. Exposing artistic gifts within children when they are young can be life changing. 

    In a community known for healthy living and the arts, our school system values our talented staff devoted to the development of the whole child. 

     $1,570,000: Technology Staffing, Devices & Software

    The District receives $100,000 from the State for instructional technology (IT) staffing and $700,000 for classroom technology, however levy covers an additional $1.57 million in student devices, staffing/support, and technology infrastructure.

    $4,610,000: Maintenance and Transportation Staffing, Supplies, Equipment, Services and Vehicles

    We receive a lot of questions around why we use levy dollars for maintenance and why we are asking for a School Plant Facility Levy, if the state gives us Idaho Lottery funds for facilities. 

    The District is expected to receive $1 million from the Idaho Lottery - which breaks down to $47,620 per campus/support facility. Unfortunately, these funds only cover a portion of our maintenance and facility expenditures. Our total maintenance and facilities budget is $7.5 million; $4.1 million in salaries and benefits and $3.4 million in non-payroll expenditures. The $3.4 million in non-payroll expenditures is for utilities and routine maintenance and does not cover the backlog in deferred maintenance.The $3.4 million includes all utilities, paper products and custodial/cleaning supplies, lawn and garden supplies and materials, and tools/equipment/parts to maintain the plumbing, interiors, exteriors and mechanical systems in our 17 school campuses and 4 operational facilities. 


    What happens if the Legislature allocates more funding to public schools?

    The Idaho Legislature met in a special session in late 2022 to allocate $325M to Idaho public schools. However,we do not know how those funds will be distributed and we will not know until the 2023 legislative session closes.  The Coeur d’Alene School Board made a motion during their board meeting to state that they will review and discuss levying a lower amount if the state provides additional discretionary funding.  

    What is a levy-based tax system as opposed to a rate-based tax system?

    In Idaho, school levies are assessed on a levy-based tax system, meaning the dollar amount collected by the entity is fixed and the rate levied to equal that fixed amount is changed each year. So when new growth is factored into the equation the levy rate goes down. The Coeur d’Alene School District’s levy rate is among the lowest of all districts in Idaho, and is the lowest of the largest 12 districts. 


    In a rate-based tax system (not Idaho), when new growth is added and assessed values increase, the entity receives more funding. Many states fund schools this way. NOT Idaho.

    "Live within your means:"

    We often hear, why doesn’t the School District "live within their means." There are several facts we believe are important to understand to help explain this.

    • The per-pupil expenditure in Idaho is the lowest of all states in the nation; that means we need to do more with less.  Idaho is far below the nation average and significantly below neighboring states.  


    • Idaho‘s education funding structure has specifically been set up to require districts to levy local property taxes to fill the gap left in state revenues, ensuring that local taxpayers have input in spending practices. Idaho’s levy tax system is very different from other states and until action can be taken at the state and legislative level, districts across Idaho have to levy property taxes in order to operate.

      • In 2006, during a one day special legislative session the Legislature made a significant change to the funding system of schools, leaving a significant gap in basic funding.  Prior to 2006 a significant portion of funding was automatically levied by the state through a Maintenance and Operations Levy and $260 million in school funding was cut.  To provide property tax relief the Legislature removed the Maintenance and Operations levy revenue stream and  increased the sales tax to offset the difference.  Over time, it became clear that the sales tax revenue was volatile and was not enough to replace the previous revenue source, so the state began to further cut funding to school districts.  In order to maintain the level of services students and families appreciated and expected, many districts turned to supplemental levies.  Examples are listed throughout this document of what the Coeur d’Alene School District uses this funding for and includes maintaining smaller class sizes, variety in course offering, keeping up with market wages, especially compared to those across state lines within 20 miles of us.  Additionally they fund programs that the state provides no funding for such as our developmental preschool (required), School Resource Officers, nurses, athletics and extracurricular programs, KTEC, and many others.

    • Cost of rising goods and services: We have all seen and experienced the rising cost of goods and services over the past several years.  The district has absorbed increases in salaries and increased expenses without an increase in tax revenue.  For example, a school bus in 2019 costs $95,000, in 2023, they are over $125,000.  That is more than a 30% increase.

    • The Coeur d’Alene School District would attest that we have worked hard to live within our means, continuing to maintain a low levy rate, and have demonstrated fiscal prudence as evidenced in our financial statements and audits. 

      • Out of the 15 largest school districts, Coeur d’Alene’s levy rate ranks the 3rd lowest.

    • As of 2023, 91 out of 118 school districts utilize supplemental levies. The school districts that do not have supplemental reviews tend to be either small enough (one classroom school districts) where they do not need to levy or, in some cases, cannot pass a levy in their community. Levies are essential (not just supplemental) for greater than 80% of Idaho’s school districts.

    What has the district done with the ESSER funds it received?

    The District received three rounds of ESSER funding.  Much of the funding was allocated with very specific guidelines on what the funds could be used for. The District’s entire ESSER expenditure plans can be found on the District Website under Departments > Finance.

    ESSER I - $1,840,811 was used toward teacher salaries to avoid disruption in service through balancing the operation budget, and technology support during a time when technology was critical and the state cut technology budgets.

    A portion went to enhancing digital learning management systems to support online learning.

    A portion was used to provide PPE, sanitizers, cleaners and improve HVAC filtering.    

    ESSER II - $6,000,000 was also used toward teacher salaries to maintain services during the pandemic and balance the budget.  A portion was allocated to support staff compensation and some paid in one time stipends and bonuses during a time staff were asked to take on additional tasks and modify the way we deliver school during times of social distancing and periods of remote learning.

    ESSER III - $13,511,258.  Approximately 20% is to be used for learning acceleration including summer learning programs, after school academies, enrichment activities and staff professional development.  Again portions were used to balance the budget and enhance technology.  

    We have allocated a portion to take care of some high priority deferred maintenance needs that are currently being designed and in pre-bid or being scheduled for construction during the summer of 2023. The largest project is a replacement of the HVAC systems that serve 49 zones in the 700 wing of CHS that have been failing for some time.  

    The ESSER funds used to offset some of wages paid, created a one time general fund surplus that the school board allocated to deferred maintenance and some key safety and security upgrades for immediate impact.  Those projects are currently being planned and are not included in the SPFL vote in March as they are already approved.  These funds help to address this year's current needs and the March SPFL will continue to sustain the district over the following 5 years with additional projects as outlined in the documentation on the district levy webpage (www.cdaschools.org/levy)

    Does the Coeur d'Alene Public School District teach CRT?

    Whatever you may have heard about this controversial academic concept, please know this: Critical Race Theory (CRT) is not taught in Coeur d’Alene Public Schools. It is not embedded in our curriculum nor is it included in any of our operating plans or staff training programs. It hasn’t found its way into our school district, nor has it even been considered, period. Idaho’s recently passed “Dignity and Nondiscrimination in Public Education Act” prohibits public schools from directing or compelling a student to “personally affirm, adopt, or adhere” to any of the tenets of CRT. But we didn’t need Idaho law to tell us this. We already have an existing non-discrimination policy that prohibits the differential treatment of anyone based on their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin. If that were to happen in any classroom here, the District administration would move quickly to correct the situation. 

    So why has CRT become such a topic of national conversation? The questions and concerns are fueled relentlessly by the tactics of national and state organizations that aim to discredit or defund public education. Some community members we hear from pick up on these messages and either repeat them, point to an experience from their previous city or state, or are confused by the rhetoric and are additionally concerned. No one wants their child to feel unsafe at school, for any reason. When something as complex, ambiguous and obscure as CRT is repeatedly championed as the next big threat to our children, it gets attention. Coeur d’Alene Public Schools does not -- in theory, action or practice -- make space for CRT in our classrooms.

    How is our curriculum created and resources chosen? All curriculum, by law, must align with Idaho State Content Standards, which are first approved by our state legislators. Resources are chosen to help us teach those standards using a thorough and open process involving the opportunity for public review and comment. What is woven into the curriculum are thoughtful ideas to help teachers address individual students’ learning needs. This is the work of teaching and learning. This is what we will continue to address and improve upon in the service of our students.