What is the plan for our community to support Kuna students?

The Kuna School Board created a 10-year plan based on priorities identified by the community, parents, and teachers. The plan is to: 

  • Address community priorities for student learning with an annual levy renewed every two years

  • Create space for future new students with bonds about every three years

  • Harness growth to fund school growth and keep the tax rate steady a $5 per $1,000 of taxable property value

Our plan launched in 2017 with the passage of the annual supplemental levy and bond.

How did the learning levy passed in March 2017 support our students?

The levy provided $2.5 million for students in 2017-18 and in 2018-19. As promised, the two-year $5 million investment was used to:

  • Provided new materials and equipment for math, social studies, and technology

  • Focused on safety and prevention by:

  • Securing access to schools with new fencing, swipe card entrances, doors and cameras

  • Funded one additional school resource officer

  • School maintenance and repairs including:

  • Fremont Middle School - Converted Teed Elementary for use as middle school; replaced old heating, cooling system

  • Kuna Middle School - Added handicap accessible bathroom and painted

  • Indian Creek & Ross Elementary School -- purchased desks, repaired sidewalks

  • Silver Trail, Ross and Crimson Point schools -- installed swipe card safety access

  • Restored fund balance needed for fiscal stability and to reduce bond interest costs

Watch the video overview

What’s on the ballot March 12, 2019?

Voters will be asked to renew the $2.5 million annual levy for learning. There is no bond on the ballot.

A renewal of the levy will provide $2.5 million for students in 2019-20 and in 2020-21 and will address these priorities set by our community:

Add 20 teachers to:

  • address areas of classroom overcrowding

  • add auto body repair, diesel mechanics, and agricultural classes

  • Continue free full-time kindergarten

Provide new materials and technology equipment:

  • English

  • Science

  • Musical instruments

  • Chromebooks

Continue focus on safety and prevention by:

  • maintaining school resource officers

  • increasing prevention staffing and training

  • making critical building improvements

It seems like there are a lot of school elections, why?

We anticipate several elections during the next 10 years because of Idaho law and student growth.

Our 10-year plan relies on an annual levy dedicated to learning needs prioritized by our community. Idaho law requires that this levy be renewed every two years.

While no bond is on the March ballot, our plan anticipates a bond for buildings will be needed in the every two to three years because of student growth and the need for more classroom space and schools.

We sometimes hear concerns about “election fatigue.” More often, however, our community welcomes the opportunity elections provide to learn about our progress thanks to their investment and to ensure that we are accountable for these funds.

What is the difference between bond levy and supplemental levy?

Use of the funds makes it easy to remember the difference. Simply put: Bonds = Buildings         Levies = Learning.

Why is a levy important for our students?

The state and federal governments do not fund the total cost of educating our students. To bridge the gap, our state provides communities a tool called a supplemental levy or levy to raise funds for students.

Our community recognizes that the success of our students hinges on strong local schools that meet children’s needs, ensures their safety and prepares them well for life.
In Kuna, our community sets the spending priorities for the levy. While this levy is collected each year, it must be renewed every two years.

Why are bonds important for our students?

Our community recognizes that growth will mean more students in our schools and it wants to ensure student learning is not impacted by overcrowding or lack of space.
The state does not pay for local school buildings. Instead, it provides communities a tool to raise money to pay for construction, building additions, remodeling, and repairs and buying property. Bonds are similar to a home mortgage providing the funds to serve students now with the costs paid back over time usually 15 to 20 years. The state provides some funding to reduce interest cost and we reduce interest costs by ensuring the district is financially stable with a fund balance or “emergency” fund.

Didn’t the district get a grant for musical instruments?

Yes. Kuna High School and Kuna Middle School received a $130,000 donation from the TLC Foundation in December. This donation help reduced the funding needed from the levy to replace old instrumentals and add new ones.

Will the tax rate increase with the levy renewal?

No. Our plan maintains the rate at $5 per $1,000 of taxable property value. The chart below shows the tax rate applied to different values for the next two years of the levy.

  levyplan

 What is taxable property value?

Each year, the county assessor establishes the value of property – land and any improvements such as houses. In Idaho, homeowners can apply for 50% of their property value up to $100,000 to be exempted from taxation. Exemptions also are available for seniors and other groups.

Property owners who believe their value is too high may file an appeal.

More information:
An Education Guide to Property Tax in the State of Idaho
Ada County Assessor
Canyon County Assessor

Doesn’t the lottery pay for school building and repairs and maintenance?

Our district’s share of lottery revenue is about $330,000 and it is spent on maintenance and repair projects in schools, but it is not enough to build new schools or pay for annual maintenance needs.

Why do teacher need new textbooks?

Our textbooks for all subject areas is old and out-of-date and part of our plan is to update them during the next 10 years. For some subjects, like social studies and science, significant recent historical and political events are missing as well as new discoveries and knowledge. Some of our textbooks are so old that the publisher no longer sells replacement copies. Modern textbooks are based on current expectations for student learning and also include supports for teachers to adapt instruction for learners at all levels from advanced to those who struggle.

What happens if the levy is not renewed?

The annual levy is part of our 10-year plan to support immediate learning needs. Some needs depend on these funds including: replacing outdated textbooks, reducing class sizes, and expanding career technical programs for students. The district also will need to review whether free all day, every day kindergarten for everyone can continue. Nearly every school district in the state uses a local levy to bridge the gap in state and federal funding.

Where can I find out about Voting?

See our Voting FAQs