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Julie Wootton reports school districts across Idaho are looking to taxpayers for help keeping schools up and running.

This year, 81 school districts have a voter-approved supplemental levy issue in place. That’s nearly 70 percent of the state’s 117 districts, according to data from the Idaho State Department of Education.

“Our supplemental levy has become a survival levy, just like everyone else,” Twin Falls Superintendent Wiley Dobbs said.

School districts’ growing reliance on voter-approved funding is central to a report released last week by the nonprofit Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy.

Written by former longtime chief state economist Mike Ferguson, the report suggests changes to Idaho’s school funding system might have violated a constitutional requirement to maintain a uniform and thorough system of public and free schools.

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