North Idaho financial glitches, times two

From North Idaho, here’s a roundup on two school financial glitches.

The Coeur d’Alene School District says it is about $1.8 million short of the $8 million needed to open its new Winton Elementary School next fall.

The district could come up with the difference from a $7 million contingency fund, or by selling off district-owned property, Scott Maben of the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported this week.

Winton was one of several projects earmarked from a $32.7 million bond issue, passed in 2012. Along the way, Maben reports, trustees decided to tear down and rebuild Winton — increasing capacity by 160 students, but also driving up project costs.

Meanwhile, the Wallace School District refinanced its bond issue on its junior-senior high school – a move that is supposed to save taxpayers money and speed up the loan repayment. But when property tax bills went out in November, patrons were charged for the new and the old bond repayments. So a bond payment that should have cost the average homeowner $61 came in at $183, according to Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

Shoshone County commissioners have scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday to figure out what to do next.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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