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Levies pass in Bonneville and Fremont school districts

Education

IDAHO FALLS (IdahoEdNews.org) — Voters approved both of Bonneville Joint School District’s education measures Tuesday, totaling $13.1 million.

“We’re just really grateful to our voters and our patrons for coming out and recognizing the needs we have in the district and being willing to support those needs,” said Scott Woolstenhulme, Bonneville’s superintendent. “We’re just glad we don’t have to be looking at making some really hard decisions if they didn’t pass.”

The district’s two-year, $11.6 million supplemental levy passed with 58% of voters in favor of the measure, which will help pay for classroom supplies, a school resource officer, coaches, extracurricular activities advisors and other positions. The levy required a simple majority (50% plus one vote) to pass.

Voters also approved a $1.5 million request for construction cost savings and interest earnings from the proceeds of a previously approved $30.5 million in bonds for updates and “repairing, renovating, remodeling, equipping and furnishing other existing schools and facilities.” The measure required a supermajority (two-thirds or 66.67%) to pass, and surpassed that benchmark with 75% approval.

RELATED | District 91 school bond for $250 million fails to pass

Woolstenhulme said he was especially appreciative of voters’ support in light of “a really interesting economic climate that we all live in right now.”

“Inflation and rising property values put pressures on families, so I really didn’t know what to expect going into this,” he said.

Woolstenhulme did note that the levy’s 58% pass rate is one of the lowest the district has seen, which likely reflects the financial hardships families may be facing.

Fremont County Joint School District’s $3 million levy passes

Voters in Fremont and Madison counties approved Fremont County School District’s two-year, $3 million levy request. About 56% voted in favor of the measure, and 44% voted against it, which required a simple majority to pass.

“We’re really grateful and appreciative,” Ben Garcia, the district’s co-interim superintendent, said. “I figured it may be tight … we have inflation and people are worried about their pocketbooks.”

The funds will cover textbooks, technology, musical instruments, building security needs and to “attract and retain highly qualified staff.”

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