Across Idaho, Voters To Decide On $393 Million For Schools

Mar 5, 2015

West Ada School District's Lake Hazel Middle School has an enrollment of 1,452; its capacity is 1,000.
Credit West Ada School District

Across the state, a high-stakes school election day looms on Tuesday.

How high are the stakes? There are at least $393.3 million in bond issues and school levies on the ballot next week.

And this may not be a complete figure — but Idaho Education News canvassed districts, county elections websites and news reports from across the state (from The Times-News in Twin Falls, the Post Register in Idaho Falls and the Lewiston Tribune).

The unofficial tally: At least seven bond issues and 35 levies are on Tuesday’s ballot. And several larger districts — Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Pocatello-Chubbuck — have upped the ante on their supplemental levy proposals.

Here’s the top 10 election hotspots around the state:

1. West Ada. A $96 million bond issue.

Fittingly enough, the state’s largest school district has the largest proposal on Tuesday’s ballot.

West Ada’s priorities are little changed from August, when a bond issue narrowly fell short of the two-thirds supermajority required to pass. The top priority is building two new middle schools, at a total cost of $60 million. The district would also spend $24 million speeding up an extensive renovation project at Meridian High School and put $10 million towards a new elementary school.

The bottom line is down from August’s $104 million request. Politically, West Ada seems to be taking a more aggressive tack. After a low-key election last summer, the district has secured public endorsements from the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd.

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