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.