Governor hands West Ada $150 million for facilities

Gov. Brad Little visited three Treasure Valley schools Thursday to celebrate the state’s historic move to support school facilities in every district. His final stop was Centennial High School in Boise. (Photo: Darren Svan/EdNews)

Gov. Brad Little and local legislators celebrated historic funding for school facilities, secured during the 2024 legislative session, by visiting three Treasure Valley schools Thursday. 

They stopped at Central Canyon Elementary School in Caldwell and Middleton Middle School in the morning followed by the marque event at West Ada School District’s Centennial High School. The governor delivered checks signifying each district’s share of $1 billion that will go out next fiscal year.

The Vallivue School District will get $41 million, Middleton School District $18 million and West Ada $150 million. In total, the state will spend an additional $1.5 billion over the next decade, with the remaining funds going to state coffers that help districts pay off bonds and levies.

“We got it done,” Little told the crowd of lawmakers, teachers and students at Centennial. “We set aside $1.5 billion over 10 years to go throughout the state to help school districts take care of anything to do with facilities, whether it’s maintenance or to build or remodel a school.”

More than two dozen lawmakers and other state officials accompanied Little, who co-authored House Bill 521 with legislative leaders, including House Speaker Mike Moyle, R-Star, and Majority Leader Jason Monks, R-Meridian. 

The money will be divided between school districts based on average daily attendance, meaning populous districts, like West Ada, will get a bigger share. 

It’s the largest-ever state investment in school facility improvements and construction. Little called for the funding to address crumbling school buildings in his State of the State address and budget recommendations this year. School facilities funding is one initiative in his broader “Idaho Works” infrastructure plan.

“We needed to participate in facilities,” Little said. “Inflation in school construction has gotten to be a bigger and bigger issue.”

HB 521 had bipartisan support among lawmakers, though some opposed facets of the sweeping bill. One provision was designed to deter districts from switching to four-day school weeks, and another eliminated August school elections.

West Ada School District received $150 million for ongoing maintenance needs, facility upgrades or new construction. (Photo: Darren Svan/EdNews)
Idaho EdNews Staff

Idaho EdNews Staff

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