Trustees in Nampa, Idaho Falls face recall elections

Trustees in the Nampa and Idaho Falls school districts could be recalled as parents and patrons are speaking out.

Nampa’s Mike Kipp and Idaho Falls’ Elizabeth Cogliati could be stripped of their school board roles during the March 9 election, according to local ballots obtained by Idaho Education News.

Cogliati, left, and Kipp

Complaints fueling Kipp’s recall revolve around a perceived lack of representation for patrons.

“We feel that as a zone, we are not being represented as a majority by Kipp,” petitioners wrote on the ballot.

Some registered voters in Kipp’s Zone 2 also complained of “not having our voices heard … on numerous occasions” during school board meetings.

A statement from Kipp also appears on the ballot.

“I have done my best to listen well to all input from teachers, patrons, our superintendent, other district leaders, and all relevant experts,” Kipp said.

Cogliati also offered a statement in response to constituents’ claims that she has “failed to place the needs and desires of students and parents first” during the pandemic.

One of those needs, petitioners claim, is recognizing the “detrimental” effects a hybrid-learning plan approved by trustees in September has had on students.

“It is impossible to see the request of all the district’s constituents regarding the pandemic,” Cogliati wrote in a statement that also appears on the ballot in response to petitioners’ claims. “If there were four possibilities for how schools should reopen, we will receive requests from all for possibilities.”

Board Chair Lara Hill and trustee Hillary Radcliffe also voted in favor of moving high schools to a hybrid learning schedule, Both also faced initial recall efforts, East Idaho News reported last month.

Debates over letting kids return to their schools in-person have grown fierce. Months of hybrid learning in Pocatello-Chubbuck fueled a recall effort against trustees Dave Mattson, Jackie Cranor and Janie Gebhardt. County officials in December certified petitions to have the board members recalled.

Cogliati represents Idaho Falls’ Zone 4, which includes areas around Erickson, Linden Park and part of Hawthorne elementary schools. She was elected to the board in November 2019. Her term expires November 2023.

To be ousted by voters, each trustee must receive a majority of votes calling for their recall. The recall votes must also either meet or exceed the number of votes that originally put them into office.

Devin Bodkin

Devin Bodkin

EdNews assistant editor and reporter Devin Bodkin is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He lives and works in East Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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