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Kuna School District proposes renewal levy to address overcrowded classrooms and building safety

The district is trying to be proactive as it prepares for the hundreds of new students expected to attend its schools during the next three years

KUNA, Idaho — Student enrollment at Kuna schools is at an all-time high with 5,400 students. 

The school district said all of the schools are either at capacity, or over capacity, and that's just part of the reason why it's asking for a renewal levy. 

With Idaho growing, the school district expects the number of students to increase. So much so, that in the next three years, an additional 700 new students are expected. 

“On Tuesday, the school board unanimously approved asking state taxpayers to renew the existing levy,” Kuna School District spokesperson Allison Westfall said. “Same amount, same tax rate.” 

That levy is for two years and a total of $5 million.

“So, we’re looking at those class sizes, expanding opportunities for kids, addressing those critical, safety needs and then giving teachers and kids those things they use every day,” Westfall said. 

Things like updated textbooks and computers and additional materials needed to support learning now. 

MORE: Kuna population booms, schools feel impact

VOTER GUIDE: March 2019 school bonds and levies

Two years ago, voters passed a levy and bond and used it to address some of those issues. However, fast forward to today and the city is still dealing with similar problems because of the continued growth - and it’s only expected to get worse.

“We were walking through a science classroom yesterday (Thursday) and some of those 30-plus kids, they were crowded, they were bumping into each other,” Westfall said. 

The school district said the funding will also go toward school safety. 

“Improving the access of our building to make sure strangers and other folks can’t get in and then improving other critical needs,” Westfall said. “Another piece of that is supporting our school resource officers.”

ALSO: 120 kids in one class? At Kuna Middle School, teachers call it 'synergy'

With the current growth rate, the school district wants to get these measures in place before they expect those additional 700 new students.

“As you go through town, you’ll see new construction for buildings and homes, and we’re just being proactive preparing for the students that will come,” Westfall said.

Voters will take up the issue on March 12.

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