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Senate panel rejects Souza’s bid to change Idaho school board elections

Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d'Alene, pitches legislation changing Idaho school board elections to the Senate Education Committee on Monday; the panel rejected the bills. (Betsy Z. Russell)
Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d'Alene, pitches legislation changing Idaho school board elections to the Senate Education Committee on Monday; the panel rejected the bills. (Betsy Z. Russell)

BOISE – Coeur d’Alene Sen. Mary Souza’s bid to change school board elections in Idaho failed Monday in the Senate Education Committee, which roundly rejected the idea.

Souza backed two bills: One, SB 1307, would move school board elections from the current date, May of odd-numbered years, to November of even-numbered years, the same date as big partisan elections for offices including president, governor and Legislature. The other, SB 1308, would continue to have school trustees run from defined zones, but would allow all voters in the district to vote on each trustee, rather than just those within the zone. Souza, a first-term Republican, said the idea was to get voters more engaged in school elections.

SB 1308 was killed with just two committee members objecting, Souza and Sen. Lori Den Hartog, R-Meridian. SB 1307 died with only Souza supporting it.

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