Reclaim Idaho files ballot initiative for education funding

Posted at 4:28 PM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 09:52:01-04

The group Reclaim Idaho has filed the Quality Education Act which is a ballot initiative to boost K-12 funding by over $200 million annually.

Almost two weeks ago, Gov. Brad Little signed SB1110 into law. This bill makes getting citizen-led ballot initiatives on the ballot, more difficult than before.

The new legislation nearly doubles the number of legislative districts that have signatures from registered voters

According to Reclaim Idaho, the Quality Education Act looks to increase taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Idahoans to provide more money to improve K-12 learning.

“This is a ballot initiative that would invest over $200 million annually in public education in Idaho. It would go toward urgent priorities like strong programs and career technical education, all-day kindergarten and also more competitive salaries for teachers and support staff. We've been working on something like this initiative ever since our organization succeeded with Medicaid expansion. We've been working to really strengthen our public schools we think this is the right moment for it because during this last legislative session there's been a whole lot of disrespect for our educators and we think that it's time to stop attacking our educators and really start investing in them,” Co-Founder of Reclaim Idaho Luke Mayville said.

According to the U.S. Public Education Spending Statistics, Idaho ranks near the bottom of all 50 states when it comes to education funding in public schools.

U.S. Public Education Spending Statistics

“We hear all the time that Idaho is dead last out of 50 states when it comes to how much we fund education for students, but it's really worse than just being at the bottom of the list. Our failure to invest in education means that we have programs around the state being cut, programs that are urgently needed,” Mayville said. “We have teachers who are leaving the profession there either leaving the state to teach in a state that pays them more competitively or they're leaving and doing something else.”