BOISE, Idaho — Education funding could once again be a hot topic this fall. The grassroots organization Reclaim Idaho has been traveling the state, gathering signatures for the Quality Education Act - a ballot initiative that would significantly boost money for K-12 schools.
The group gathered more than 100,000 signatures far surpassing their goal and submitted them to the Idaho Secretary of State’s office Wednesday.
“The Quality Education Act would make big investments in our public school systems because we are currently 50 out of 50 states in funding for education,” Co-founder of Reclaim Idaho Luke Mayville said.
“As a teacher, our students deserve more and they deserve quality educators and we need funding to keep educators in our classroom and support staff to help those children,” second-grade teacher Leah Jones said.
The submitted signatures came from all of Idaho's counties in support of the Quality Education Act. According to Mayville, most of the signatures came from Ada County.
The Secretary of State’s office will now review the signatures to make sure they're legitimate.
The initiative would raise $323 million a year for K-12 programs and teacher pay according to Reclaim Idaho.
“It would simply restore the corporate income tax in Idaho and it would add an individual income tax just on the amount that an individual earns over 250,000 dollars in a year or 500,000 dollars a year for a married couple,” Mayville said.
Big Update: All signatures for the Quality Education Act initiative have now been counted, and it turns out we collected 4,000 more than we thought. OVER 100,000 SIGNATURES TOTAL! Thank you to everyone who picked up a clipboard & snagged a signature over the past year.#idpol— Reclaim Idaho (@reclaimID) July 5, 2022
“I’ve taught now three years 5th grade five years 2nd grade and its a struggle. We’re underfunded and we can't hire support staff. Teachers, great quality teachers are leaving to go to other states and we need more for our students in Idaho,” Jones said.
To learn more about the ballot initiative click here.