School levy Tuesday: An overview

Tuesday is Election Day across many communities in the state, as districts go to the polls to ask voters to put property tax dollars into schools.

Here’s a whirlwind look at a few of Tuesday’s elections:

  • In Nampa, a cash-strapped district is going back to voters again. Voters approved a two-year, $3.2 million levy in August, but the district’s deficit was even worse than originally feared, coming in a $4.3 million. The district wants voters’ go-ahead to refinance a school bond to cover another levy; this one would run one year and raise $4.3 million. Here’s my overview story from last week.
  • Elsewhere in Canyon County, Middleton wants to extend a 10-year plant facilities levy, at a cost of $250,000 a year. Details from the Idaho Statesman.
  • Two Idaho Falls-area districts want voters to renew existing levies, according to the Post Register. Idaho Falls wants a two-year, $6.8 million supplemental levy; Bonneville is seeking a two-year, $3 million levy. Idaho Falls is still bracing for $3.5 million in cuts next year, superintendent George Boland Idaho Education News’ Clark Corbin last week; Corbin spoke to superintendents in Idaho Falls and Bonneville about the 2013-14 school budget proposal, and its impacts there.
  • In Ririe, a $385,000 supplemental levy is on the ballot. The sum may be small, relative to the historical significance. As Superintendent Ron Perrenoud told House and Senate education committee members heard at a Feb. 11 listening session, this is Ririe’s first levy proposal since 1932.
  • In Mackay, a $150,000 levy is on the line. Hannah Furfaro of the Associated Press traveled to the Central Idaho community to write about Mackay’s financial plight — using it as the backdrop for a closer look at the collective bargaining bills being pushed by the Idaho School Boards Association. Whatever becomes of those controversial bills, a legislative interim committee will likely spend the off-season studying labor issues.
  • Across the Magic Valley, a half a dozen districts are pushing levies — some at increased levels. Gooding is seeking $510,000, up from $325,000; Twin Falls wants a two-year, $9 million levy; voters approved a $7.5 million levy in 2011. “We won’t be where we were before 2009,” spokeswoman Beth Pendergrass told The Times-News, “but it allows us to maintain operations, to keep doing what we’re doing now.”
  • In Payette, a two-year, $695,000 levy is on the ballot. And if it fails, a five-star school, West Side Elementary School, could be on the chopping block. Story from KTVB.

 

Kevin Richert

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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