Community Blog: The EDge

A $208.9 million school election day

$208,877,000.

That’s the bottom line from a busy election night across the state.

All told, voters approved just shy of $209 million in school levies and bond issues, according to an Idaho Education News analysis of election results.

By and large, school districts fared well as they took their cases to the polls. Voters approved 41 of 48 ballot measures statewide.

A few headlines:

  • The biggest winner was Twin Falls, as voters said yes to a $73.8 million building bond issue, designed to address enrollment increases.
  • The biggest-ticket item was handed the night’s biggest loss. Bonneville district voters resoundingly rejected a $92 million bond issue — also a response to enrollment growth.
  • Idaho’s largest school district, Meridian, received a two-year renewal on a $14 million-a-year levy. Next up: The district plans an August bond issue of its own.
  • Nampa voters approved their third supplemental levy since August 2012. Unlike the previous levies, this one will not be used to erase a lingering shortfall that topped out at $5.1 million. Win or lose, district officials went into Tuesday’s election expecting to be in the black at the June 30 end of the budget year.
  • The closest shave unfolded in North Idaho’s Wallace School District. A levy passed on a 261-259 vote, barely receiving the simple majority required for passage. On the other side of the coin, a $4.8 million bond issue fell just shy of passage in Eastern Idaho’s North Gem district. If four more patrons had come out to vote yes, the bond issue would have passed.

Here’s a link to my detailed analysis at Idaho Education News.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger at Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org). Kevin is a former Statesman editorial page editor, with 27 year's experience in Idaho journalism.

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