Levies are also on Tuesday’s ballot

For the Kuna School District, Tuesday means it’s time for a levy election sequel.

Two months after voters narrowly rejected a two-year, $6.38 million levy, an identical levy will appear on the ballot next week.

It’s one of several school levies on the ballot, as voters also go to the polls for primary elections.

Tuesday will be a lighter day for levies — compared to March 11, when voters approved $208.9 million in bond issues and levies. But 52 percent of Kuna voters rejected the levy. Heading into this second levy election, both the stakes and the emotions are high.

The levy makes up 11 percent of Kuna’s budget — and without it, the rural Ada County district says it would face a $3.1 million deficit in 2014-15. District officials says they will use the bulk of the money to fund 30 teaching positions and preserve classroom days.

Critics say the district hasn’t done enough to find savings while preserving instruction time. They say the district could save money by outsourcing busing and custodial services.

“Perhaps it is true that outsourcing transportation, food service, and janitorial might save the district money,” Terri Reno, a Kuna mother and grandmother, wrote in an Idaho Education News Voices guest opinion this week. “Will it save $3.19 million per year? Not likely.”

Adding to the political intrigue: Kuna School Board member Michael Law has been one of the most public critics of the levy proposals — and could face a recall election. Reno has been heading this petition drive, and has said she will push for the recall even if the levy is approved. A recall election could occur in August.

Here’s a look at a few other levy elections on Tuesday’s ballot:

West Bonner: The Panhandle district is pursuing a one-year, $3 million levy. With more than 25 percent of its budget in play, West Bonner administrators say a lot is on the line Tuesday — including the district’s five-day-a-week calendar. Academic and extracurricular programs may also fall by the wayside, district officials say.

Basin: The Idaho City-based district is seeking $500,000 over two years, to share the costs of a school resource officer, pay for two preschool teachers and supplies, cover transportation and sports expenses and build up budget reserves.

Mountain View: The north-central Idaho district hopes to renew a one-year, $2,663,249 levy.

Troy: Voters will decide on a one-year, $995,000 levy.

Arbon Valley: The elementary school district has a two-year, $100,000 levy on the ballot.

Check back at Idaho Education News next week for levy results.

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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