Amber Abercrombie doesn’t usually get involved in politics.
A mother of two children in the Kuna School District and wife of a Boise policeman, Abercrombie raises her family and works from home as a freelance copywriter and copyeditor.
But when the Kuna School District levy went down on March 11 by less than 100 votes in an election with a light turnout, she couldn’t sit on the sidelines. Without renewal of the two-year, $6.38 million supplemental levy, Kuna schools expect to face staff cuts, larger class sizes, a reduction in school days or other program changes, district officials say.
Kuna was the only one of six school districts in the Treasure Valley to lose its levy election last week.
“I assumed we lived in such a supportive, tight knit community,” Ambercrombie said. “I assumed – wrongly – the levy could pass with flying colors.”
When it didn’t, Abercrombie, 34, launched a petition drive on Change.org asking school trustees for an election do-over. She got 400 signatures in three days.
Abercrombie intends to present the petition to the Kuna trustees tonight (Wednesday, March 19) as they meet to decide how they will go forward. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. at the Kuna High School Commons, 637 E. Deer Flat Road.
Parents are expected at the meeting to urge the school board to put the levy on the ballot a second time, possibly in May, when voters will cast ballots in Idaho’s primaries.
“The lack of these funds will result in cuts that will have immediate and possibly lasting detrimental effects on our children and the incredible educators in our district,” Abercrombie wrote in the petition.
Ambercrombie is worried that without the levy, the district may lose some of its best teachers and the number of children in classes will increase.
“It’s a pretty harsh reality,” she said.
She thinks a lot of voters may have been complacent and the district too optimistic about winning renewal of the levy, first passed two years ago.
She also is frustrated with Michael Law, a Kuna school board member who worked against the levy’s passage.
“His first and greatest concern should be the welfare of the students,” she said.
Law said the levy is a hardship in a district where 44 percent of the students are low-income.
Check back at idahostateman.com tonight for an update on the meeting.