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Get Ready for Another Round of School Bond/Levy Elections

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In a sign that a public education funding shortfall still exists—no matter how much self congratulating the Idaho Legislature voiced at the end of its just-wrapped 2015 session—a number of Gem State school districts are once again preparing to go before voters next month to approve bonds and/or levies.

In the Treasure Valley, the Notus School District will ask voters to pass a bond in order to fund a new elementary school. Notus voters have already turned down two previous bond attempts to help fund a $4.8 million replacement of a 90-year-old elementary school that is plagued by significant heating and water problems.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that no less than six north-central Idaho school districts say they need to turn to voters in May to help fill their budget gaps: Cottonwood, Kamiah, Nezperce, Salmon River, Troy and Whitepine. 

In the Latah County community of Troy, school officials say they need a $1.2 million levy passed to buy textbooks and keep a much-needed math teacher on the payrolll (the position has remained vacant through the current school year). But it will be an uphill battle in Troy. In March voters there rejected a previous levy with nearly two-thirds of the voters saying no. School officials say if the new levy isn't passed, they'll also need to consider reducing kindergarten to half-day, and reduce or eliminate physical education, school athletics, music and drama.