Levy elections in 12 east Idaho school districts on Tuesday
Kevin Richert, IdahoEdNews.org
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BOISE — On Tuesday, 41 of Idaho’s 115 school districts will go to voters with levy proposals.
The school elections coincide with presidential primaries — and all told, $174.3 million in spending requests will be on the line statewide. That’s considerably less than recent years, when March school elections ran on a standalone ballot. A year ago, schools sought $485 million in bond issues and levies. In 2018, requests totaled $410 million; in 2017, the number was $715 million.
And all March school elections might become a thing of the past. On Friday, the House passed a bill to eliminate March and August school election dates, forcing schools to seek bond issues and levies in May and November. Supporters say the move would alleviate voter confusion and improve turnout. The Senate Education Committee hasn’t taken up the bill.
Here’s a rundown of Tuesday’s elections in eastern Idaho:
Pocatello-Chubbuck: Ten-year, $80.6 million plant facilities levy. The district is hoping to convince voters to renew a levy that has been on the books since 1961. Districts use plant facilities levies for building maintenance, renovation and construction, security upgrades and equipment for buildings. The threshold to pass a plant facilities levy varies from 55 percent to a two-thirds supermajority, depending on the overall size of the request. Pocatello-Chubbuck’s levy requires 55 percent support to pass.
Preston: Five-year, $4.5 million plant facilities levy. The district hopes to renew its existing plant facilities levy to cover a variety of projects — including remodeling old high school classrooms; resurfacing busing areas; repairing and resurfacing a track; and acquiring land for new school sites.
American Falls: Six-year, $3.88 million plant facilities levy. American Falls hopes to use plant facilities money to refurbish the interior of its 42-year-old William Thomas Middle School. The to-do list includes roof replacements, technology upgrades and enhanced security systems/ The district is collecting a $600,000 plant facilities levy this year, and the renewal requires a 55 percent majority to pass.
Aberdeen: Two-year, $1.9 million supplemental levy.
Shelley: Two-year, $1.15 million supplemental levy.
Salmon: Two-year, $900,000 supplemental levy.
North Gem: Two-year, $700,000 supplemental levy.
Soda Springs: One-year, $698,000 supplemental levy.
Oneida: Two-year, $580,000 supplemental levy.
Swan Valley: Six-year, $480,000 plant facilities levy, requiring a 55 percent majority to pass.
Challis: Five-year, $250,000 plant facilities levy, requiring a 55 percent majority to pass.
Mackay: Two-year, $150,000 supplemental levy.
This article was originally posted on IdahoEdNews.org on March 4, 2020