District 91 & 93 Consolidation Study ReportIn 2011, Northwest Education conducted a feasibility study on the consolidation of Idaho Falls School District 91 and Bonneville School District 93. The study was commissioned in response to patron questions about the costs and benefits of district consolidation.

The study determined that combining the districts wouldn’t save any money. It highlighted some areas where the districts may be able to combine services, but indicated the districts have lower administrative costs than large districts in the state or the nation. The study also indicated that consolidation would have tax implications for patrons. Read the Full Report

budgetIdaho Falls School District 91’s primary source of funding comes from the state’s general fund. The money, generated from the state sales tax, is allocated to school districts based on a complicated formula that includes the number of students who attend each school each day. Some of the money districts receive from the state is designated for specific purposes such as classroom technology and cannot be spent on other things like teacher salaries or textbooks.

The district also receives money from the federal government. That money is earmarked for specific programs such as child nutrition or providing services to economically and educationally disadvantaged children, children from migrant families and children with special needs. The money has to be used to support those programs and cannot be used for any other purpose.

In addition, school districts can ask patrons to approve levies or bonds to generate money to pay for things like additional staff and programs to enhance instruction, building maintenance and repairs, school buses or technology. Patrons in Idaho Falls School District 91 have long supported a supplemental levy and a plant facilities levy. In 2012, they also approved a $53 million bond to pay for upgrades to school buildings across the district. Learn more about District 91’s levies.

School moneySchool districts can ask patrons to approve levies or bonds to generate money to pay for things like additional staff and programs to enhance instruction, building maintenance and repairs, school buses or technology. These monies are generated through local property taxes.

Supplemental Levy
Idaho Falls School District 91 patrons have long supported a supplemental levy. The levy currently generates about $6.8 million a year, which pays for teachers, aides and counselors the state does not fully fund; keeps class sizes lower and helps the district recruit the highest quality teachers by offering a competitive salary and benefits package. Patrons must renew the levy every two years.

Special Plant Facilities Fund (SPFF) Levy
Patrons also have approved a Special Plant Facilities Fund (SPFF) levy, which generates about $2.4 million for major capital expenses such as school maintenance, repairs, technology and school buses. The board reduced the levy by about $500,000 in 2012. The SPFF comes up for renewal every 10 years.

Bond
In spring 2012, District 91 patrons approved a $53 million bond to pay for the construction of four schools to replace some of the district’s oldest elementary schools. Dora Erickson, Edgemont, Ethel Boyes and Longfellow elementary schools will be rebuilt on the existing sites. In addition, upgrades will be made to science facilities at Idaho Falls and Skyline high schools and to other buildings in the district.

Learn more about District 91’s levies and bonds rates.