After $110 million bond fails, what’s next for Idaho Falls School District 91?

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IDAHO FALLS — A major $110 million bond school bond failed to find voter approval Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean the discussion about upgrading Idaho Falls D91 high schools is over.

After weeks of contentious debate regarding construction contractors and the bonds effect on property taxes, the proposal received 58 percent of the needed 66.67 percent supermajority to pass.

Now school district officials say its back to the drawing board.

“In the coming weeks, what we’ll be doing is reaching out to our parents and patrons and gathering input,” D91 spokeswoman Margaret Wimborne told EastIdahoNews.com. “Then the board will determine the best path forward.”

Wimborne said it is too soon to tell what changes will be made to the bond or when it will be presented to the voters again.

D91 Taxpayers, an organization that actively campaigned against the bond, had some suggestions on what the board should do going forward.

“We now call on the District 91 School Board and Administration to start over with proposals and pricing in an ethical and fair process,” a D91 Taxpayers spokeswoman said in a press release. “We ask that they carefully weigh wants versus needs and proceed in a more financially wise direction.”

Wimborne said the board spent two years crafting the previous bond before it went to a vote.

“There are some real needs in our high schools,” she said. “There’s still work that needs to be done in order to update and modernize those buildings. But, as far as specific next steps, that’s really going to depend on what we hear from our parents and patrons.”

If passed, the bond would have paid for the construction of a new Idaho Falls High School and redesign of Skyline High school.

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