IDAHO — The group Reclaim Idaho is trying to pass another ballot initiative that looks to invest over $300 million annually in Idaho's K-12 education system.
School districts in Idaho, specifically in rural areas, do not have access to funding for certain programs or full-day kindergarten according to Reclaim Idaho, and the Quality Education Act looks to increase funding for schools and education staff across Idaho.
“The Quality Education Act will give the voters of Idaho a chance to increase funding for public schools because we’re currently 50th out of 50 states in the country when it comes to per-student-funding,” Reclaim Idaho Co-Founder Luke Mayville said.
For the Quality Education Act to make it on the ballot, Reclaim Idaho needs signatures from 6% of all Idaho's registered voters, plus signatures from 6% of voters in at least 18 of the state's 35 legislative districts.
“The Quality Education Act will give Idaho voters a chance to do something about this problem, to get more funding for urgent needs like better pay for teachers and support staff and programs across the state,” Mayville said.
The act would be paid for by a tax increase for corporations and some of Idaho's highest earners, according to Mayville.
He said the initiative would not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year. Those earning above that would pay new taxes solely on the income they earn over $250,000 and over $500,000 for married couples.
“We are now in a very strong position with about 93,000 signatures collected for the Quality Education Act. That makes us likely to put this on the ballot,” Mayville said. “We cannot be certain because we have not gotten our signatures back from the county clerks so we don’t know how many of them will be counted.”
Reclaim Idaho has until April 30 to collect signatures and if the goal is met, the Quality Education Act will be on your ballot for the November General Election later this year.