Tuesday’s school elections — which coincide with presidential primaries — aren’t as far-reaching as standalone election dates in recent years.
Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, is seeking to increase the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, and use the proceeds to replace voter-approved school supplemental tax levies.
Lake Pend Oreille and Minidoka County voters narrowly passed supplemental levies, while Nampa’s supplemental levy failed by 11 votes. Meanwhile, incumbent trustees lost from Lakeland to Middleton, from West Ada to Teton County.
Ninety-two of Idaho’s 115 school districts will collect nearly $214 million in supplemental levies this year. But the reliance on voter-approved levies raises nagging concerns about equity.
For the first time, Idaho voters will elect school trustees during a November election. But many voters won’t even notice the difference, because most school board races are uncontested so won’t appear on the ballot.
By the numbers: Eight districts will decide on $172 million in ballot measures, while three of Middleton’s five trustees face a recall election.
“Students of color are more likely to live in communities with the most difficulty approving local education dollars,” the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy wrote in a new study.