The stakes are as high as ever. The district's 2016-2017 budget is $214.3 million and employs more than 4,300 people to serve as many as 26,000 students. While there are nearly 104,000 registered voters in the Boise School District, school board elections have seen abysmally low voter turnout in recent years. For example, only 6 percent of the voters went to the polls in 2016. The two school board elections before that saw 1.5 and 1.1 percent voter turnouts.
Dave Wagers, appointed to the school board in January 2015 to serve the remaining 20 months of an outgoing board member's term, has three children in Boise schools this fall and a fourth—a recent graduate from Boise High—is in college. Wagers is president of Idaho Candy Company and the only incumbent on the ballot.
Beth Oppenheimer is executive director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children. She has two daughters starting a new school year—one in elementary school and another in junior high school.
Monica Walker, who says she's usually the one behind the scenes when it comes to other candidates' elections, has two daughters: one a junior at Boise High School and another—now a junior at Temple University—was a product of Boise schools.
Learn more about the personal and professional motivations of the three candidates here.
The winners of Tuesday's election will be sworn into office during the next regular meeting of the Boise School Board on Monday, Sept. 12.
Polls are open until 8 p.m. at 30 elementary schools, eight junior high schools and four high schools across the Boise School District, as citizens select two of three candidates for the district's board of trustees. Voters may also cast ballots at the district's administrative office at 8169 W. Victory Road. See a full list of the polling places