Kuna levy draws fresh scrutiny

Both sides pitch their arguments to the city's business community.

broberts@idahostatesman.comApril 18, 2014 

The Kuna School District's two-year, $3.19 million-a-year supplemental levy renewal is getting a lot of attention now that voters are being asked a second time to pass it.

The latest evidence: a spirited presentation and question-and-answer discussion at the Kuna Chamber of Commerce meeting on Thursday.

Steve Ackerman, a levy opponent, and Lori Blattner, a supporter, made their cases to a group of about 50 people.

Ackerman said the district has not done an adequate job of setting priorities for the ways revenue from the levy would be spent. His top priority is educational materials and supplies.

"Funding is for learning," he said.

Blattner, who has three children in the district, warned that failure to renew the levy could create an outflow of teachers to nearby districts, such as Nampa and Middleton. The levy was first adopted in 2012.

Eighty percent of the district's budget pays for personnel, she said. The levy accounts for 11 percent of the budget. It's impossible to take that much money out of the system and not affect people, Blattner said.

The district tried to renew the levy in March but it failed in a close vote, with light turnout. The school board placed it on the ballot again for May 20, the day of the state's primary.

Bill Roberts: 377-6408, Twitter: @IDS_BillRoberts

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