Meridian Press: Suburban districts seek help from ‘bond fatigue’

Two suburban districts want new options to pay for school buildings — in hopes of easing what one trustee called “bond fatigue.”

But the Idaho School Boards Association hasn’t signed on to either idea, Patty Bowen of the Meridian Press reported Wednesday.

The West Ada School District again wants the state to pick up half of the cost of school bond payments, using sales tax revenue from new construction to pick up the difference.

“At some point, bond fatigue is going to hit us,” West Ada Trustee Mike Vuittonet told Bowen, pointing out that the state’s largest district will soon need to run another bond issue to bankroll a new elementary school.

West Ada pushed a similar proposal a year ago, and the ISBA did not sign on. This year, the ISBA is neutral — for now, at least.

At a meeting earlier this month, the ISBA’s executive board took no position on the West Ada proposal, Bowen reported.

Meanwhile, the executive board decided not to support a proposal from the Kuna School District, Bowen reported. Kuna wants the state to allow schools to collect impact fees on new developments, and use these proceeds for building projects.

The executive board doesn’t have the final word. The ISBA’s membership — trustees and charter school board members from across the state — will vote on both proposed resolutions at the group’s annual meeting in November. If the membership signs on, the ISBA will adopt either or both resolutions.

The proposals come as many school officials continue to bemoan Idaho’s stringent bonding requirements. Bond issues require a two-thirds supermajority.

In August, voters rejected six of seven bond issues on the ballot across Idaho. Four of the six were “repeat” bond issues — rejected after voters had also turned down similar or identical proposals in previous elections.



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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