North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club Bulletin
January 11, 2021
            Jan.18: No Zoom luncheon meeting—MLK Holiday.
            Feb. 1 and Feb. 15: Zoom Noon lunch meetings.
            Congratulations!: Board Treasurer Bill Simer  achieved his third Paul Harris award!
            Happy$ Buck: Lenore and Bob Romney saw some whales and warm sunshine on a visit to Oahu, Hawaii.
                    School levy mail-in ballot 
       due Feb. 9   
            Having to negotiate for more than 10 months with Covid 19 chaos and juggling on-line and in-person classes, it was somewhat appropriate that the top School District 81 administrators joined the club’s Zoom meeting Jan, 11 to discuss its Feb. 9 levy ballot.
            Superintendent Adam Swinyard and Associate Superintendent Mark Anderson joined a screen-full of on-line club members to share the details of the three-year levy.
            Past-president Melinda Keberle, principal at Ridgeview Elementary, introduced Swinyard and Anderson.
         Swinyard thanked the club members “for your support in the community in an obviously trying time.”  He cited “40 years of levy support which provides support in many essential ways.”  He mentioned counselors, nurses, extra-curricular activities and some basic education elements.
            Swinyard said that about 90 percent of our on-line students are logging in, but we want to get them back into the classrooms as soon as possible.  Some of the youngest students are in classrooms now.
             Anderson provided key numbers.
                    The district -- third largest in the state – was 29,115 students and 4,195 employees.
                    Some 1,720 students speak 79 different languages.
                    Also, some 58 percent are in poverty which allows for free and reduced-rate meals and the district has provided one million meals during the school year.
                    Anderson said with three new middle school buildings under way and other projects, some 700 construction workers have had work through the pandemic.
            Swinyard said some in the district have asked “why a levy now?”
            He replied that “we are on a three-year program.  The 2021 levy expires with the three-year measure, so if we do not fund a new levy, the district would have a $65 million gap.”
            He also said that while the state has increased some education funding, district money is essential to maintain basic education and extra-curricular programs, but not for construction. (“Levies are for learning; bonds are for buildings.”)
            State-mandates to operate with smaller classrooms also challenge district funding.  Swinyard said, for example, some of Melinda Keberle’s students at Ridgeview now go to Shaw to keep the numbers of students in line.
            The levy is a replacement measure, not a new tax, Swinyard said.
            The 2022-2024 levy amounts, rates and assessment for a $250,000 property include:
                                2022: $65.7M                     $2.40     $1,142.50
                                2023: $73.8M                     $2.45     $1,155
                                2024: $82.1M                     $2.50     $1,167.50
            Swinyard concluded: “Our kids missed a lot (with the pandemic forcing classes to go on-line).  We want a typical school year.”
            As routine, Club President Steve Bergman gave a book to the Holmes library in the name of Swinyard and Anderson. 
            The book is called “The Value of Tenacity.”  That sums up nicely what schools and all of us have had to have with the covid year crisis.    
The bulletin editors:
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink