10 days after narrow defeat, Kuna School Board votes to seek levy again

March 21, 2014 

The Kuna School Board voted 3-2 on Friday morning to hold a levy election May 20 seeking $3.19 million a year for two years.

Kuna voters rejected a similar levy March 11 by fewer than 100 votes. District officials say without the money, the district faces reductions in staff and school days.

A meeting Wednesday in the Kuna High School Commons drew more than 300 people, the vast majority of whom supported a second attempt at the tax levy.

Levy opponents at Wednesday's meeting said the voters already had spoken, and there was no need to ask them again. Cory Tanner, a Kuna businessman, told the board he's not satisfied that the district is watching its money closely enough. Rerunning the vote is "akin to a teenage temper tantrum."

But supporters countered that voters were hit with misleading information in a brochure they received just days before the election and for which supporters didn't have time to respond.

They also criticized Michael Law, a Kuna board member, who worked actively against the levy.

Law defended the brochure he helped create and mail to voters as accurate. As for the allegation that he was working against the board's interest, "I think freedom of speech trumps all that," he told the Idaho Statesman after Wednesday's meeting.

Kuna was the only Treasure Valley school district out of six for which a supplement levy was beaten in the March 11 election. School officials say the revenue loss, 11 percent of the district's budget, could result in staff cuts, larger class sizes, lost school days and changes to programs.

The deadline for filing the election paperwork with county election offices is Friday. Kuna school trustees also could have decided to hold the vote in August. The district's current levy expires in June.

Check back later for updates.

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