After many school districts in Southeast Idaho considered the latest developments in education from the Idaho House and Senate and the effects that legislation would have on their revenue; four counties have decided to propose a supplemental levy. Tuesday was the vote and Summer Joy stopped by to find out how it was going and to get the details to which ones have passed.
Jefferson School District 251, Fremont Joint School District with 215, Salmon School District 291, and Arbon Elementary District and Rockland District in Power County were asking for your vote today on whether or not to pass a new supplemental levy or bond election. Speaking with School District's 251 Superintendent he said that if this does pass it means they will be able to continue with their programs as usually, but if it does not pass students and faculty could see some changes.
"If its not passed, then that means there will be significant cuts to the programs and services we have for students at this point," said Ron Tolman, the Superintendent for District 251.
The levy's range from 50 thousand dollars to 2 million and in just school district 251 officials said that they had a pretty low turnout. Late this afternoon they had only seen a couple hundred voters.
Even though the School Districts would have to make cuts, there were parents there that felt it still wasn't right to put more taxes on the community.
"We have several kids in school and we are grateful for the school systems. We have done everything we can to be supportive, but we have already been accessed greatly on our property taxes. When the state took over for the funding of the school systems through the increase of the sales tax from five to six percent. I don't think anyone considered that there might be an economic downturn and therefore when they made those projections based on sales and that one percent increase in sales tax in that would cover the cost of education; it was very shortsighted," said Terry Madsen, a voter.
Others though felt very different.
"I'm not a person who likes to have more taxes, but my dad is an educator. I'm someone who believes that I'm not only invested in my kid's education, but also other children in the community," said Bryan Hammar, a voter.
The majority of people I spoke with were actually very torn on this issue.
"I have noticed funding has gone down hill, it isn't steady, it isn't predictable and we don't know what will happen. A lot of important programs have already been cut and I see the other districts in the area have passed levies and that is what has kept them afloat. I hate to see it happen because I think there needs to be a better way statewide to fund education," said Jena Murphy, a voter.
Salmon School District 291 on the first revolution 354, 23 percent in favor, and 1,184 against at 77 percent on the 3.6 million size state revolving fund. For the 14.5 million on the new construction 645 in favor at 42 percent, and 901 against at 58 percent.
Arbon Elementary District with a 50 thousand dollar levy has results up to this point of 56 in favor, 2 no, and they have not yet counted their absentee ballots yet.
Jefferson School District 251 the un-official votes are 799 in favor and 1,963 against.
Fremont Joint School District 215, are currently still counting the votes.
And Rockland District has not yet reported any results.