School elections: McCall-Donnelly bond issue passes, Bonneville levies fail

McCall-Donnelly voters overwhelmingly approved a $33.2 million bond issue, and Coeur d’Alene voters kept a $20 million-a-year supplemental levy on the books.

But the Bonneville School District was shut out Tuesday, and the East Idaho district wasn’t alone. Levies failed in a handful of communities, from Post Falls to Emmett to Bruneau-Grand View.

Across Idaho, 46 districts sought $299.6 million in bonds and levies. Voters said yes to $224.3 million in ballot measures. Here’s a rundown of results.

Bonneville. Ten-year, $38 million plant facilities levy: failed. Two-year, $13.6 million supplemental levy: failed.

In the largest election of the night, voters rejected a pair of increased levies.

The plant facilities levy received only 41 percent support, well below the 60 percent supermajority threshold. The supplemental levy received 42 percent support; all supplementals need only a simple majority to pass.

Bonneville sought to replace a $2.8 million-per-year plant facilities levy and a $5.8 million-per-year supplemental levy.

Coeur d’Alene. Two-year, $40 million supplemental levy: passed.

Voters renewed the state’s largest supplemental levy, which makes up about one fourth of the North Idaho district’s annual budget. It passed with 60 percent support. Coeur d’Alene will use the levy for training teachers, hiring school resource officers and upgrading classroom technology, among other items. 

McCall-Donnelly. $33.2 million bond issue: passed.

With a whopping 89 percent support, the night’s largest bond issue easily cleared the two-thirds supermajority threshold. The district plans to use the money for expansions at Donnelly Elementary School and its Payette Lakes Middle School, and to address traffic flow problems at Payette Lakes and Barbara Morgan Elementary School.

Blackfoot. $23.9 million bond issue: passed. Two-year, $4 million supplemental levy: passed.

The bond issue received 82 percent support. The East Idaho district plans to convert the existing I.T. Stoddard Elementary School into a career-technical high school, and build a new elementary school. Meanwhile, 75 percent of voters said yes to the levy, reduced from $2.28 million per year.

Lakeland. Two-year, $19.04 million supplemental levy: passed.

This North Idaho levy appeared to clear the requirement for a simple majority — but barely. The levy received 50.4 percent support, passing with 47 votes to spare. Accounting for about 30 percent of the budget, the North Idaho district plans to use levy proceeds on everything from armed guards to all-day kindergarten and extracurricular activities.

Pocatello-Chubbuck. Two-year, $18.5 million supplemental levy: passed, with 62 percent support. Levy dollars will go toward teacher recruitment, school safety and “unknowns associated with the pandemic’s financial impact on education.”

Idaho Falls. Two-year, $13.6 million supplemental levy: passed, with 75 percent support.

Twin Falls. Two-year, $11.4 million supplemental levy: passed.

An increase from a $5 million-a-year levy, this proposal received 69 percent support. The levy will be used primarily for staffing.

Fremont County. Ten-year, $7 million plant facilities levy: passed, with 72 percent support. Two-year, $3 million supplemental levy: passed, with 72 percent support.

Post Falls. Two-year, $9.91 million supplemental levy: failed.

This levy renewal received 49.4 percent support, falling 34 votes short of passage. The North Idaho district had hoped to focus levy dollars on curriculum and technology.

Emmett. Ten-year, $6.17 million plant facilities levy: failed. Two-year, $2 million supplemental levy: passed. The supplemental levy, scaled back from $1.5 million per year, received 57 percent support. Meanwhile, 54 percent of voters approved a new plant facilities levy, and it fell 32 votes short of the 55 percent supermajority needed to pass. It’s not immediately clear whether the district will try again. “We’ve not yet made any decisions as a board, but we will definitely discuss it in the near future,” Chairman Hoss White said.

Shelley. $7.5 million bond issue: passed, with 79 percent support. The district plans to renovate Goodsell Elementary School, for kindergarten classrooms and a special services center; install a new HVAC system at Hobbs Middle School; and install camera systems and electronic doors.

West Bonner County. Two-year, $6.87 million supplemental levy: failed.

This levy received only 47 percent support. The district sought an increase from an existing $3 million-a-year levy.

American Falls. Two-year, $5.5 million supplemental levy: passed, with 62 percent support.

Kuna. Two-year, $5 million supplemental levy: passed, with 54 percent support.

Boundary County. Two-year, $4.8 million supplemental levy: passed, with 51 percent support.

St. Maries. Two-year, $4.15 million supplemental levy: passed, with 64 percent support.

Potlatch. One-year, $1.65 million supplemental levy: passed, with 59 percent support. A decrease from a $1.75 million levy.

Kendrick. Two-year, $1.62 million supplemental levy: passed, with 64 percent support.

Snake River. Two-year, $1.458 million supplemental levy: passed, with 75 percent support. A slight decrease from the existing $750,000-a-year levy.

Kootenai. Two-year, $1.45 million supplemental levy, passed, with 70 percent support. A slight decrease from the existing $750,000-a-year levy.

Bear Lake. Two-year, $1.3 million supplemental levy: passed, with 64 percent support.

Cascade. Two-year, $1.3 million supplemental levy: passed, with 72 percent support.

Gooding. Two-year, $1.3 million supplemental levy: passed, with 70 percent support.

Challis. Two-year, $1.2 million supplemental levy: passed, with 65 percent support.

Troy. One-year, $995,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 81 percent support.

Genesee. One-year, $985,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 69 percent support. An increase from the $935,000 levy voters approved in 2020.

Parma. Two-year, $800,000 supplemental levy: passed. A decrease from the district’s current $450,000-a-year levy, the levy received 58 percent support.

Payette. Two-year, $800,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 67 percent support.

West Jefferson. Two-year, $720,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 69 percent support. An increase from the district’s existing $300,000-a-year levy, passed in 2018.

Soda Springs. One-year, $698,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 65 percent support.

Bruneau-Grand View. Two-year, $600,000 supplemental levy: failed, with 42 percent support. The district sought a reduction from the $400,000-a-year levy voters approved in 2019.

Camas County. Two-year, $500,000 supplemental levy; two-year, $100,000 supplemental levy to continue a program in fine arts and music. Both passed, with 89 percent support.

Horseshoe Bend. Two-year, $600,000 supplemental levy: passed. No details available.

Hansen. Two-year, $580,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 72 percent support.

Ririe. Two-year, $580,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 70 percent support.

Clark County. Two-year, $500,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 90 percent support.

Highland. One-year, $499,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 60 percent support.

Grace. Separate one-year supplemental levies: for $300,000 and $150,000. Both passed, with 70 percent and 68 percent support, respectively.

Rockland. Two-year, $420,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 95 percent support.

Sugar-Salem. Two-year, $400,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 72 percent support.

Butte County. Two-year, $320,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 71 percent support.

Hagerman. Two-year, $300,000 supplemental levy: passed. Another nail-biter, this levy passed on a 222-220, barely clearing a simple majority. A reduction from the two-year, $400,000 levy voters approved in 2019.

Swan Valley. Two-year, $120,000 plant facilities levy: passed. The district had run four similar levies since 2019, all without success.

West Side. One-year, $90,000 supplemental levy: passed, with 61 percent support.

Marsing. Ten-year levy to continue funding for the Canyon Owyhee School Service Agency: passed, with 79 percent support.

Trustee recalls. Five trustees survived unsuccessful recall attempts Tuesday: Nampa trustee Mike Kipp; Idaho Falls trustee Elizabeth Cogliati; and Pocatello-Chubbuck trustees Jackie Cranor, Janie Gebhart and Dave Mattson.

 Idaho Education News reporter Devin Bodkin and data analyst Randy Schrader contributed to this report.

 

About 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 KIVI 6 On Your Side; "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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