Voters approve $358.6 million for schools

(UPDATED, 10:58 a.m., to correct amount of West Side levy.)

Seven months after saying no, West Ada School District voters approved a plan that will allow the state’s largest district to build three new schools and remodel a fourth.

West Ada Bond Vote
A crowded hallway in the West Ada School District’s Lake Hazel Middle School.

For Bonneville School District officials, Tuesday’s election brought one more defeat — this one by a narrow margin.

The two bond issues headlined a busy school election day across the state, with voters endorsing more than $358.6 million in bond issues and levies.

All told, voters approved six long-term bond issues while two fell short of the needed two-thirds supermajority. Forty-four supplemental and plant facilities levies passed, while only two failed.

North Idaho

(Source: The Spokane Spokesman-Review; click on links here and here.)

Coeur d’Alene: A two-year, $30 million supplemental levy passed.

At $15 million a year, this will be the heftiest supplemental levy in Idaho.

The extra money would go towards two multiyear initiatives — hiring teachers to reduce class sizes and replacing textbooks and classroom materials.

The levy received 73 percent support.

Post Falls: A $19.5 million bond issue passed, with 79 percent support. The money will be used to build a new elementary school and add a second story at River City Middle School — in an attempt to address overcrowding issues. Post Falls High School would also get a new performing arts auditorium and gymnasium. Patrons also approved a two-year, $9.31 million supplemental levy, with 81 percent support.

Lake Pend Oreille: A two-year, $15,767,484 supplemental levy passed, with 65 percent support.

West Bonner County: A two-year, $6 million supplemental levy passed, with 62 percent support.

Boundary County: A two-year, $4.8 million supplemental levy passed, with 54 percent support.

St. Maries: A two-year, $4 million supplemental levy passed, with 52 percent support.

Kootenai: A two-year, $1.8 million supplemental levy passed, with 66 percent support.

Plummer-Worley: A two-year, $1.1 million supplemental levy passed, with 62 percent support.

North-Central Idaho

(Source: Lewiston Tribune)

Mountain View: A one-year, $2.66 million supplemental levy passed, with 58 percent support.

Potlatch: A one-year, $1.39 million supplemental levy passed, with 59 percent support.

Troy: A one-year, $1.333 million supplemental levy failed, with 35 percent support.

Genesee: A one-year, $935,000 supplemental levy passed, with 70 percent support.

Kendrick: A one-year, $850,000 supplemental levy passed, with 72 percent support.

Highland: A one-year, $499,000 supplemental levy passed, with 70 percent support.

Southwest Idaho

(Source: Idaho Statesman, except where noted.)

West Ada: The night’s biggest ballot measure, a $96 million bond issue, passed with a 72 percent majority.

The bulk of the money would go toward two middle schools, at a total cost of $60 million. The district would also spend $24 million speeding up an extensive renovation project at Meridian High School and put $10 million towards a new elementary school.

Patrons had narrowly rejected a $104 million bond issue in August.

Vallivue: A $28 million bond issue passed.

The rapidly growing Canyon County district will use $17 million for a new elementary school. The remainder would go toward remodeling projects, land purchases and wrapping up the new Ridgevue High School, due to open in 2016.

The bond issue received a 68 percent majority.

Melba: A $9.5 million bond issue passed, with 75 percent majority.

Caldwell: A five-year, $3.3 million plant facility levy passed, with 78 percent majority.

Weiser: An eight-year, $2.48 million plant facilities levy, passed with 74 percent support. (Source: KBOI TV.)

Homedale: A 10-year, $1.5 million plant facility levy passed, with 80 percent majority.

Bruneau-Grand View: A two-year, $1.4 million supplemental levy passed, with 54 percent support (source: Mountain Home News.)

Cascade: A two-year, $1 million supplemental levy passed.

Fruitland: A two-year, $700,000 supplemental levy passed, with 60 percent support. (Source: KBOI TV.)

Horseshoe Bend: A two-year, $600,000 supplemental levy failed, with 46 percent support.

Magic Valley

(Source: The Times-News.)

Cassia County: A $36.95 million bond issue passed.

After three unsuccessful attempts, the district got the go-ahead to finance building projects across the countywide school district. Among the big-ticket items: Burley and Declo would get new elementary schools, Raft River would get a new high school and Oakley would get additional classrooms and a new gym.

The bond issue received 76 percent support.

Twin Falls: A two-year, $9 million supplemental levy passed, with 67 percent support.

Buhl: A seven-year, $2.59 million plant facilities levy passed, with 61 percent support.

Jerome: A two-year, $1.3 million supplemental levy passed, with 72 percent support.

Gooding: A two-year, $1.02 million supplemental levy passed, with 67 percent support.

Hansen: A two-year, $580,000 supplemental levy passed, with 67 percent support.

Camas County: A two-year, $500,000 supplemental levy passed, with 84 percent support.

Hagerman: A two-year, $300,000 supplemental levy passed, with 69 percent support.

Southeast Idaho

(Source: Idaho State Journal.)

Pocatello-Chubbuck: A two-year, $18.5 million supplemental levy passed.

The levy, up from a current levy of slightly less than $8.5 million a year, will be used for textbook purchases, extracurriculars and implementing the Idaho Core Standards and the Common Core-aligned ISAT by Smarter Balanced online assessments.

The levy received 65 percent backing.

Oneida County: A $12.5 million bond issue failed. The bond issue received 51 percent support, but needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

American Falls: A two-year, $4.8 million supplemental levy passed, with 73 percent support.

Bear Lake: A two-year, $1.6 million supplemental levy passed, with 70 percent support.

Soda Springs: A one-year, $798,000 supplemental levy passed, with 68 percent support.

Aberdeen: A two-year, $600,000 supplemental levy passed, with 63 percent support.

Grace: A two-year, $400,000 supplemental levy passed, with 89 percent support.

North Gem: A two-year, $400,000 supplemental levy passed, with 80 percent support.

West Side: A one-year, $90,000 supplemental levy passed, with 89 percent support.

Eastern Idaho

Bonneville: A $56.1 million school bond proposal received 4,829 votes and a 65.7 percent majority, but needed a two-thirds supermajority to pass.

“I feel good about the results,” Superintendent Chuck Shackett said. “I mean obviously we didn’t win, but it was very close and we got 2,100 more yes votes than last year.”

The district will try an identical bond issue again in May.

Bonneville attempted a $92 million school bond to build a new high school and middle school in March 2014, but it failed to even get majority support. The latest bond attempt was scaled back to a new high school, without a stadium or performing arts center, that would accommodate 1,500 students. Both bond requests were initiated in response to increased high school overcrowding, and the district hopes to open a new high school in 2018.

There has been significant opposition to the bond requests from citizens groups opposed to the hike in property taxes that would be caused by increased debt. Shackett said opposition to the proposal has greatly lessened since last year as the district has worked with its own citizen committees.

“We aren’t going to go out and change this because this is what the community wants,” Shackett said. “But we will have to go out and be more diligent in having more one-on-one conversations with (patrons) in the district and do a better job communicating.”

Idaho Falls: A two-year, $13.6 million supplemental levy passed, with 82 percent support. Idaho Falls has had a supplemental levy for more than 30 years, and officials have kept the rate at $6.8 million a year since 2003.

Other Eastern Idaho results

(Source: Post Register.)

Teton: A two-year, $6.2 million supplemental levy passed, with 68 percent support.

Blackfoot: A two-year, $5.2 million supplemental levy passed, with 60 percent majority.

West Jefferson: A $4.95 million bond issue passed, with 84 percent support.

Fremont County: A two-year, $3 million supplemental levy passed, with 59 percent support.

Snake River: A two-year, $1.55 million supplemental levy passed, with 65 percent support.

Challis: A two-year, $800,000 supplemental levy passed, with 70 percent support. A five-year, $250,000 plant facilities levy passed, with 74 percent support.

Clark County: A two-year, $500,000 supplemental levy passed, with 81 percent support.

Butte County: A two-year, $130,000 plant facilities levy passed, with 83 percent support. A two-year, $320,000 supplemental levy passed, with 80 percent support.

Mackay: A one-year, $150,000 supplemental levy passed, with 69 percent support.

Idaho Education News’ Nate Sunderland contributed to this report.

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