Majority of school levies pass across Idaho

IDAHO EDUCATION NEWSMarch 13, 2014 

What's the bottom line from a busy election night across the state Tuesday? $208,877,000.

Voters approved that much in school levies and bond issues, according to an Idaho Education News analysis of results.

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

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 end of the budget year, June 30.

The closest shave unfolded in North Idaho's Wallace School District. A levy passed on a 261-259 vote, barely receiving the simple majority. On the other side of the coin, a $4.8 million bond issue fell just shy of passage in Southeast Idaho's North Gem district. If four more patrons had come out to vote yes, the bond issue would have passed.

Here's a detailed breakdown:

Ada, Canyon and Boise counties

Passed: Meridian, Vallivue, Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton, Garden Valley

Failed: Kuna

Southwest Idaho

Passed: Mountain Home, Fruitland, New Plymouth, Weiser

Failed: Bruneau-Grand View

Magic Valley

Passed: Twin Falls, Jerome, Murtaugh, Minidoka County, Cassia County, Filer, Buhl, Castleford, Kimberly, Shoshone

Failed: Wendell

Southeast Idaho

Passed: American Falls, Aberdeen, Soda Springs, Oneida, Firth, Grace, West Side

Failed: North Gem

Eastern Idaho

Failed: Bonneville, Madison

North Idaho

Passed: Lakeland, Kellogg, Wallace, Orofino, Potlatch, Genesee, Kendrick, Kamiah, Highland, Nezperce, Culdesac

Failed: West Bonner

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