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Idaho voters will consider school funding initiative in November

Photo courtesy of Cameron Crow
Volunteers for Reclaim Idaho who gathered signatures for the school funding initiative will now knock on doors to build support for it.

The Secretary of State's office determines the measure has enough signatures to make the ballot.

Idaho voters will decide this fall whether to route more money to public schools.

The Secretary of State’s office says a school funding initiative has the signatures it needs to go to a statewide vote in November.

The measure would set Idaho’s corporate tax rate at eight percent and add an income tax for people at the higher end of the wage scale, $250,000 a year for an individual or $500,000 for a married couple.

Luke Mayville, the co-founder of the initiative sponsor, Reclaim Idaho, says Idaho’s schools are the least funded in the nation at a time when the state’s coffers are bulging.

“If they were funding education at anywhere close to the rate that they ought to, we wouldn’t have such a massive budget surplus," he said.

Mayville says hundreds of volunteers will canvass neighborhoods around the state to campaign for the measure.

“We’re confident that if we can get out our message that this initiative will boost pay for teachers and support staff, that this initiative will strengthen programs, including things like welding and carpentry, that give kids a chance to make a living. If we get out this message, the majority of voters are going to be persuaded to vote yes," he said.

Mayville says volunteers hope to knock on about 50,000 doors.

Opponents are attacking the measure as a huge tax increase.

Doug Nadvornick has spent most of his 30+-year radio career at Spokane Public Radio and filled a variety of positions. He is currently the program director and news director. Through the years, he has also been the local Morning Edition and All Things Considered host (not at the same time). He served as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, based in Coeur d’Alene. He created the original program grid for KSFC. He has also served for several years as a board member for Public Media Journalists Association. During his years away from SPR, he worked at The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Washington State University in Spokane and KXLY Radio.