Many Idaho school districts are holding school board elections on Tuesday, May 17. These may be the most important school board elections ever held in Idaho, due to the drastic education overhaul legislation pushed by State Superintendent Tom Luna and passed by the 2011 Idaho Legislature.
Typically, very few people vote in local school board races, so people are elected by only a fraction of a district's patrons. Knowing this, Tom Luna's allies – many of them aligned with Tea Party and other anti-worker organizations – are pushing to elect candidates in many races who will work to advance Luna's agenda on the local level. (Luna spoke to a Tea Party rally in Post Falls last month and urged attendees to vote and bring five friends.)
It is vitally important that pro-public education voters turn out in big numbers this spring, too. Here are stories about school board races around the state. We will add to these as Election Day nears. Be sure to vote May 17, or contact your school district or county clerk's office to learn about absentee or early voting opportunities if you will be gone that day.
Many school districts are running levy requests on May 17, too. School levy requests are on the rise in Idaho following three years of budget cuts; this is what Gov. Otter, Supt. Luna, and lawmakers really mean when they say they want to give you “local control.” Here is information on some of the levy requests:
Mountain View School District (Grangeville)
If you have other links to coverage of school board elections or levy requests, email them to Julie.