November school board elections? It could happen

The 2016 Legislature might look at tweaking school board elections, House Speaker Scott Bedke said this week.

Scott Bedke
House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley

The Oakley Republican expects to see a bill that would move trustee elections to November during even-numbered years. (Bedke discussed the idea at a Nampa Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday; here’s a link to the Idaho Press-Tribune’s report.)

If this shift becomes law, some trustee elections would move to high-turnout general elections — sharing a ballot with elections for president, Congress, governor and other statewide offices, Legislature and county office.

It wouldn’t be the first time legislators have tweaked school elections in recent sessions.

In 2009, the Legislature passed a comprehensive election consolidation law. This limits school districts to four possible dates for levy and bond issue elections: one in March; one in May, coinciding with party primary elections; one in August; and Election Day in November.

In 2015, lawmakers approved a law requiring trustees’ candidates in larger school districts to file campaign finance reports. The reporting requirement will go into effect in 2016.