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Jerome schools to consider future bond after voters reject proposal

Jerome schools to consider future bond after voters reject proposal

Jerome wants a new school

Jerome School District owns about 20 acres of land. Fourteen acres are zoned for a new school, and the rest could be sold to a developer.

JEROME — Voters could get another chance to decide on a bond to build a new school in Jerome.

Trustees of Jerome School District held a special meeting Thursday to discuss the future of a bond proposal to pay for a new school. Last week, the district’s $26 million bond failed with 61.5% approval, falling short of the two-thirds supermajority required of bond issues in Idaho.

No formal decision came from the meeting, but trustees and administrators indicated interest in running another bond measure in the future.

Jerome business owner Bryan Craig spoke at the meeting. He said the result could have been a lot worse considering the unusual nature of the election.

“Jerome is still supporting the schools, we just need to get more yes voters in some fashion,” he said.

The district could run the bond again in August, November, March or May. Many who spoke at the meeting said August is unlikely, since COVID-19 still makes it hard to inform voters — the main challenge from the most recent election.

Superintendent Dale Layne suggested March as a good date for the measure since few other races would be on the ballot.

“You would get a true picture of how people are thinking because that’s the only thing on the ballot in March,” he said.

Another factor complicating the bond issue is the district’s supplemental levy expires in 2021. Layne said they plan to ask voters at some point to continue the two-year, $800,000 levy. He said asking for the bond and levy at the same time would cause confusion and it would be best to run them separately.

The board will meet again June 23.


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