In nearly half of Idaho’s 44 counties, the local school district is the top employer in the county.

In Canyon County, three school districts (Nampa, Vallivue, and Caldwell) dominate the county’s Top 5 employers. In Bonneville County, the Idaho Falls and Bonneville districts hold down the top two spots. Even in Ada County –  home to many top private employers, state government and Idaho’s largest university – the Meridian and Boise school districts rank in the Top 5.

Counties where a school district takes the top local employer spot include Blaine, Bonner, Bonneville, Boundary, Canyon, Cassia, Clearwater, Elmore, Franklin, Fremont, Gem, Jefferson, Jerome, Lemhi, Lewis, Minidoka, Oneida, Teton, and Washington.

Sparsely populated Butte County – home to the massive Idaho National Laboratory site – is the only county in Idaho that does not have a school district among its Top 5 employers.

The facts are plain: Public schools are vital to our children’s education, obviously, but they also are major employers in every part of Idaho. This interactive map from StateImpact Idaho shows just how dominant public school jobs are in our state.

When it comes to driving Idaho’s future, public schools truly are our economic engine in more ways than one. Good schools help prepare our children for successful futures. Strong schools are a key consideration for companies seeking a good place to relocate or expand. And because most Idaho school employees earn low to moderate wages, they spend most of their paychecks, and they spend their money near home, helping other local employers save jobs.

Idaho school districts have seen three years of steep budget cuts, complicated by three new reform laws that force districts to shift funds out of teacher salaries to pay for bonuses and technology. (The Idaho Legislature may cover the $19.6 million shift for Fiscal Year 2013, but lawmakers did not cover the shift required for the current fiscal year.)

So it’s no surprise that dozens of school districts across Idaho will go to their local citizens this spring and ask for help to keep people on the job, keep class sizes manageable, keep school buses running, and keep school buildings repaired. Below is a list of districts seeking levies this spring, with a link for information when available.

Help save strong schools for our children and good jobs all across Idaho. Contact your local school district for information on where to vote March 13 or May 15.

Districts seeking levies or bonds on March 13, 2012

Aberdeen

Boise
Bonneville
Caldwell
Cassia County
Culdesac
Genesee
Grace
Hansen
Highland
Horseshoe Bend
Idaho Falls
Jerome
Kellogg
Kimberly
Lakeland
Meridian
Middleton
Minidoka
Mullan
Murtaugh
Nampa
Notus
Rockland
Salmon
Soda Springs
Sugar-Salem
Vallivue
Wallace
Weiser
West Side

Districts seeking levies or bonds May 15, 2012

Castleford
Central
Filer
Horseshoe Bend
Kamiah
Melba
Middleton
Mountain View (Grangeville-Kooskia)
Nez Perce
Potlatch
Prairie
Richfield
Salmon River
Shoshone
Troy
Valley
Wendell
Whitepine

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