Back to the drawing board: Shelley trustees will discuss next steps after a $67.8 million bond failure

When election results rolled in Tuesday night, showing that the Shelley School District’s proposed $67.8 million bond had failed, Superintendent Chad Williams was surprised. 

He was speculating that close to a two-thirds supermajority of voters would support the measure — but only 48% did, not even a simple majority. 

The bond would’ve financed a new high school, one with more classrooms and room for future growth. 

But voters clearly did not want to take on the extra tax burden, even with the state’s property tax relief bill in effect.

Chad Williams, Superintendent of the Shelley School District, stands in front of the current high school, dubbed by locals as ‘the spud cellar.’

One group, the conservative political action committee Idahope, paid for a billboard to decry the measure: “Nov. 7 Vote No On The Shelley School Bond $67,800,000!! In New Taxes.”

For Shelley school leaders, it’s back to brainstorming solutions to classroom shortages.

Williams said the board will meet Nov. 16 to discuss next steps, and he plans to propose reconvening the building committee, a group comprised of district staffers and community members who help guide decisions. 

“Definitely part of that will be to reach out to the community and find out exactly why they voted against it and what they didn’t feel comfortable with,” he said. 

In the meantime, there’s a number of short-term solutions the district might enact to address overcrowding. 

“None of these are ideal right now,” Williams said. “But they’re possible strategies.”

And he said if community members have any other ideas, he’s open to them. 


Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro reports from her hometown of Pocatello. Prior to joining EdNews, she taught English at Century High and was a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She has won state and regional journalism awards, and her work has appeared in newspapers throughout the West. Flandro has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and Spanish from the University of Montana, and a master’s degree in English from Idaho State University. You can email her at [email protected] or call or text her at (208) 317-4287.

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