HAGERMAN• Despite a lot of community buzz in Hagerman about the proposed supplemental school levy on the ballot, the vote came down to about a dozen voters who turned out to the polls.
The majority, 87 percent (13), voted yes, whereas 13 percent (2) voted no.
The two-year $300,000 supplemental levy will help the school district with several things, including hiring another teacher and purchasing much needed school supplies, said Superintendent Ty Jones.
“We’re thrilled with that,” said Superintendent Ty Jones.
For the past several years, the district has been living off its fund balance, which dropped from $633,750 to around $217,000, he said.
“Things are tight. They’re tight all over,” he said. “It keeps going down about $200,000 every year because of lack of support from the state.”
The district, which has about 350 students and 40 teachers and staff, cut more than 6 percent of teacher, administrator and coach salaries. Athletic equipment, field trips, extra curricular travel and textbooks also have suffered. And the district hasn’t had new textbooks in about 10 years, he said.
Four part-time aide and support positions have been in jeopardy, but now that the levy has passed, Jones said the district likely will be able to retain them.
What does the levy cost residents?About $8.49 per month per $100,000 of taxable value of their home ($101.92 per year), Jones said, or $21.23 per month for every $250,000 of taxable value ($254.80 per year).
“The money we’re asking for is not for the football program and has nothing to do with sports. It’s for academics and just to maintain operations,” Karrie Jayo, one of two English teachers at Hagerman Junior High/High School, said in an earlier Times-News interview. “It’s for aides, for teachers to work in the classrooms and hopefully for us to get some new textbooks. ... Idaho is part of Common Core State Standards, but none of our books match anything. We’re going to have to spend some money on textbooks or at least technology.”
A lot of people in the community really pushed for the levy, Jones said.
“I knew there were some good people in Hagerman who knew the value of good education,” he said. “They really stepped up to the plate tonight.”