Frequently Asked Questions about Yes For Boise Schools

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the election?

March 14, 2017

How much is the bond?

The amount of the bond is $172.5 million, which does not raise the current tax rate

How can the school district raise $172.5 million without increasing the tax rate for property owners?

The district is able to raise $172.5 million without raising the current tax rate due to:

  • Sound financial management and long term planning
  • Rising property values in Boise
  • The expiration of the 2012 levy and the 1996 bond
  • The restructure of other long-term debt

What are some of the top challenges that need to be addressed?

  • Overcrowding with student populations so large they can’t function properly
  • Using portables to address overcrowding is a safety concern of local police
  • School parking lots overflowing into busy streets at critical times, creating safety issues
  • Older buildings are simply out-of-date and some are too costly to repair
  • Obsolete electrical systems that cannot support modern technology
  • Structural issues that could result in safety concerns
  • Classrooms and schools that are physically unable to meet today’s educational standards
  • HVAC and other building failures that distract students and hamper learning
  • Outdated security, fire alarms and fire suppression systems that limit the ability to provide the safety features necessary in the world today

What major building projects will be included in the bond?

  • Expansion of job training classrooms and community partnerships with A1 Plumbing, Tri State Electric and YMC Heating and Air
  • Construction of a new elementary school at Harris Ranch
  • Remodel of Boise High old gym and performing arts center
  • Expansion of classroom space at Timberline High
  • Rebuild Amity, Highlands, Mtn. View, Pierce Park, Valley View and Whittier Elementary schools, including upgraded physical education and performing arts spaces
  • Historic remodel of Washington Elementary
  • New gymnasium or cafeteria and classroom space for Fairmont and Hillside Jr. Highs and Collister, Hawthorne, Hillcrest, Jefferson, Koelsch, Longfellow, Maple Grove, Roosevelt and Taft Elementary schools

What will happen if the bond does not pass?

  • Overcrowding may be addressed though all available means, including, redefining school boundaries and program locations
  • Improvements will be limited to available general funds
  • Portable units will continue to be used as learning environments

When was the last time voters approved a bond for Boise Public Schools?

In 2006, voters passed the school bond with 70.45% support. Thanks to the community’s support, the $94-million dollar bond allowed the District to complete the following projects on time and within budget:

  • New construction of East, South and West junior high schools; Grace Jordan, Whitney and Morley Nelson elementary schools; and Frank Church High School;
  • Complete renovations of Roosevelt and Lowell elementary schools;
  • Building of a new gymnasium at North Junior High School, and
  • Partial renovations at Capital and Borah high schools

With school construction, how will student learning be impacted?

The district’s goal is always to minimize negative influences on the teaching and learning process. Appropriate safety zones are built around construction areas to keep staff and students safe.  The District makes arrangements as necessary. For example, students were allowed to use an adjacent church playground for recess during the construction of Grace Jordan.

What is the District’s bond tax rate?

The District’s current bond tax rate is .70 per $1000 of assessed value. This tax rate is low compared to most other school districts in the state and has stayed the same since 2011.

I don’t have children in the public schools. Why should I vote Yes for Boise Schools?

  • The strength of our schools affects the strength of our community.
  • It affects Boise’s ability to attract and retain businesses, workers and families.
  • It affects home values, the workforce, safe neighborhoods with low crime rates and our ability to enjoy our overall quality of life in Boise.

How is the Boise School District nationally recognized?

  • All four high schools are listed among the Washington Post’s list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools
  • Our district is among just 20 districts in the country, our size or larger, to place all of their high schools on that list which measures college readiness
  • The District gave 35% of the state’s Advanced Placement exams in 2015-16, with just 9% of the state’s students
  • The Boise District had 50% of Idaho’s National Merit Semi-Finalists (47 of 95) in 2016-17
  • The Boise School District received the Meritorious Budget Award 2003-2016 from the Association of School Business Officials International recognizing excellence in school budget presentation

This bond allows us to reinvest in our neighborhood schools and keep our schools strong WITHOUT raising the tax rate.


Vote YES on March 14, 2017 for a $172.5 million bond serving all schools without raising the current tax rate