Upon further review, North Gem bond fails

At first, it appeared the fourth time was the charm for the North Gem School District.

It looked like voters had approved a $4.8 million bond issue to replace a high school that has been standing in Bancroft for more than 100 years. The margin of the May 20 election was razor-thin: the bond issue appeared to receive precisely the two-thirds supermajority needed for passage.

Then came last week’s recount. After the ballots were tallied a second time, the bond issue failed by a single vote, the Idaho State Journal reported Thursday.

Supporters aren’t giving up.

“We’ll go for it again in November,” trustee George Millward told the Journal.

The North Gem junior-senior high school served 99 seventh- through 12th-graders — and despite its advanced age, it received the maximum five-star rating from the state in 2013.

Beyond the bond issue, the Southeast Idaho district is facing other turmoil, the Journal reports.

Jamie Holyoak is stepping down as North Gem superintendent; he had been pulling double duty, heading the North Gem and Grace school districts. He will stay on as Grace superintendent.

The two districts are considering a consolidation plan. If the State Board of Education buys off on the plan in August, voters in Bancroft and Grace will have their say. The plan would need majority support in both communities.



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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