Voters green light a pair of rural school bonds

Voters approved a $14 million Homedale School District bond issue Tuesday. (Courtesy Homedale School District.)

Two rural school districts will build and remodel some of their buildings, after passing bond issues on a quiet election day Tuesday.

Voters gave the Homedale (81.2%) and West Jefferson (69.5%) school districts the two-thirds supermajority support needed to pass a bond issue.

Homedale plans to use its $14 million bond to bankroll a new auxiliary gym and classrooms for science and math, EdNews reported. Leaders also plan upgrades to the old gym, existing science classrooms, bathrooms and other projects for the southwest Idaho district. The bond won’t trigger a property tax hike, according to the district.

East Idaho’s West Jefferson district will put $1.5 million into safety upgrades, replacing roofs and upgrading its old high school gym and auditorium using its five-year bond. The district in a flier said “historically high construction prices” played into its decision to request the money. Property owners will annually pay $98 for every $100,000 of taxable value on their property to fund the bond, the district estimates.

Homedale’s bond cleared the supermajority it needed easily, 463-107, while West Jefferson’s margin for error was slimmer at 221-97.

The August election date, one of four in Idaho, is only available to schools. In the past, districts have run most ballot measures in March and May, an EdNews analysis found. Some state legislators twice tried to nix the August election date earlier this year, but failed.

Blake Jones

Blake Jones

Reporter Blake Jones covers the politics and policy of Idaho's K-12 public school system. He's a lifelong Idahoan, and holds degrees in Creative Writing and Political Economy from the College of Idaho. Follow Blake on Twitter @jonesblakej. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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