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Voters reject $26 million bond for Jerome School District

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 19:41:02-04

JEROME, Idaho — Voters have rejected a $26 million dollar bond in the Jerome School District.

The district says they planned to use the money for a new elementary school to help combat overcrowding. There are three elementary schools in the district, but they're split up by grade level in a unique way.

"Two buildings that are currently K-3, and then both of those feed into another elementary of 4-5," explained Superintendent Dale Layne. "Our elementary classrooms are completely full."

Students from all three elementary schools will then move on to the district's only middle school, which is dealing with overcrowding issues of its own. Layne estimates Jerome Middle School has around 1,100 students.

The district would have used the bond to build a new elementary school, and to transition the three existing elementary schools to K-6. At that point, all four students would have students from kindergarten to 6th grade.

"Bring the 6th graders out of our middle school to help reduce some of the overcrowding there, and then get our elementary kids spread out with some additional classrooms for elementary," Layne said.

The bond recieved 62% approval, but needed a two-thirds majority to pass. The district is holding a board meeting to discuss the next steps, and a possible plan "b," next week.

The district says they want to hear from the community--from people who supported and opposed the bond.

"Those who were in favor of it, you know we had 62%, you know, their thoughts on our next steps, as well as folks who were opposed to it. If we can understand their concerns that will also help us in our planning moving forward," Layne said.

If you'd like to weigh in, Layne says you can share your thoughts via email.