After the levy: Class sizes dropping in Boise

The Boise School District’s five-year supplemental levy was built around a basic goal: maintaining or reducing class sizes.

Don Coberly square
Don Coberly

Nearly three years after the March 2012 election, Boise class sizes are dropping, particularly at the high schools and junior high schools.

On his “Data Points” blog, Superintendent Don Coberly breaks down the district’s 2014-15 class sizes. Here are the numbers:

  • Elementary schools: The 2014-15 average is 23.1, a slight increase from 23.0 a year ago. But the numbers are down from 2011-12 — the year of the supplemental levy election — when average class size was 23.7.
  • Junior high schools: The 2014-15 is 22.0, down from 22.7 a year ago and 24.0 in 2011-12. In most departments, class sizes have dropped over the past year; the lone exceptions are music and technology.
  • High schools: The steepest decrease. The 2014-15 average class size is 21.9, down from 22.9 in 2013-14 and 24.0 in 2011-12. Class sizes are dropping in departments that primarily offer core requirements — departments such as math, social studies, language arts and science.

The 2012 election gave Boise the authority to levy up to $14 million a year. Boise has not levied to this maximum. In June, the district dropped this levy from $12 million to $6.5 million.

More reading: In 2014-15, 93 Idaho districts are collecting more than $180 million in supplemental levies.

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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