Idahoans Cast Their Votes for Children

While Idaho’s governor crows about a $162 million “surplus,” voters across Idaho went to the polls to support education. That so-called surplus comes because Gov. Otter and the GOP-controlled Legislature have systematically cut investment in our children and skimped on other vital infrastructure maintenance.  Some cash-strapped communities came up short Tuesday. Regardless, Idahoans don’t view it is a sacrifice to invest in children; they believe it is a duty to create future opportunity.

Kevin Richert of has a fine wrap-up of education news from the Tuesday election

Tuesday elections tally: $130.2 million (UPDATED)
Written by Kevin Richert on May 22nd, 2013. | Copyright ©

Voters across Idaho said yes to at least $130.2 million in school bond issues and levies Tuesday night. Meanwhile, two big school districts will see some School Board shakeups.

Among Tuesday’s headlines:

• Voters in Canyon County’s rapidly growing Vallivue School District said yes to a $50 million bond issue. The bond issue received a 75 percent yes vote, well over the two-thirds majority needed to pass. The bulk of the money will go toward building a second high school. (Details from the Idaho Press-Tribune.)

• Lewiston voters approved a five-year renewal of a tax levy that accounts for 29 percent of the district’s budget. The value of the levy varies based on property value, but it was worth $10.2 million in 2012-13 — which means a five-year extension could easily be worth $51 million or more. The levy received a 86 percent landslide, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

• Two newcomers will get a shot at guiding the beleaguered Nampa School District out of a $5.1 million deficit. Mike Fuller trounced incumbent Dale Wheeler, and Brian McGourty won an open race to succeed retiring board President Scott Kido. Retired teacher Bob Otten was re-elected to the board. (Details from the Idaho Press-Tribune.)

• In a series of School Board elections with partisan overtones, Coeur d’Alene voters ousted two incumbents who were backed by the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans: Brent Regan and Ann Seddon. Christa Hazel defeated Regan and Dave Eubanks unseated Seddon. Tom Hearn took an open board seat. The winners were backed by a political action committee called Balance North Idaho. (Details from the Spokane Spokesman-Review.)

• In Salmon, voters rejected a pair of bond issues to replace, or repair, aging elementary and middle schools. They rejected a $14.6 million bond issue to replace the schools, and a $3.6 million bond issue for roof repairs; both needed a two-thirds majority, and according to the Post Register, neither received even a simple majority. Tuesday was the ninth time voters rejected a school bond. It’s now likely that the state will loan the district money for the roof repairs — and patrons will have to pay off the debt.

• The second time around was kinder to two school districts, where voters approved levies they had rejected in March. St. Maries approved a two-year, $3.7 million levy, while Hansen approved a two-year, $190,000 levy.
In other Tuesday levy and bond results:

• Arbon: Approved a $50,000 supplemental levy, on a whopping 57-2 vote. (Source: Idaho State Journal.)

• Cottonwood. Voters OK’d a one-year, $387,000 supplemental levy, with 69 percent support, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

• Emmett: Voters rejected a two-year, $3 million levy. (Details from the Idaho Press-Tribune.)

• Fremont County: A two-year, $3 million supplemental levy passed with 54 percent support, according to the Post Register.

• Fruitland: Voters passed a two-year, $990,000 levy. (Source: KTVB.)

• Hagerman: Voters approved a $150,000 levy.

• Homedale: Voters rejected a two-year, $968,000 levy. (Source: KTVB).

• Jefferson County: A two-year, $2 million levy — a first for this Eastern Idaho district — lost big. The levy received only 29 percent support, according to the Post Register.

• Kellogg: No results available. The district was seeking a six-year, $3.8 million plant facilities levy, which requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass.

• Kimberly: Voters approved a $3 million bond issue for technology classrooms, renovations to the gym and auditorium and improvements to the sports complex. (Source: The Times-News, Twin Falls.)

• Moscow: A $10.8 million building bond passed with 70 percent support, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

• Mountain View: A one-year, $2.66 million levy passed. The levy received 55 percent approval, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

• Nezperce: A one-year, $445,000 levy passed with 69 percent support, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

• Orofino: A one-year, $2.285 million supplemental levy passed with 64 percent support, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

• Parma: A two-year, $700,000 levy passed.

• Parma and Wilder (COSSA): Both districts approved 10-year levies to help fund the Canyon-Owyhee School Service Agency, which provides special education, gifted and talented and professional technical programs.

• Plummer-Worley: A two-year, $1.1 million levy was handily defeated, with 66 percent of voters opposed. (Source: Coeur d’Alene Press.)

• Rockland: Approved a $210,000 levy. Nearly 89 percent of voters said yes, according to the Idaho State Journal.

• Salmon River: A $545,000 levy sailed to passage with 76 percent support, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

• Troy: A one-year, $907,000 levy passed with 63 percent support, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

• Whitepine: A one-year, $706,000 supplemental levy passed with 69 percent support, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

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