Group Meets In Nampa To Fill School Budget Hole

Oct 1, 2012

The Nampa School District announced its deficit had grown to $4.5 million late last week. Monday a group begins meeting to discuss what to do about the school district’s budget shortfall.

The Nampa school budget committee consists of the three high school principals, three district administrators, and a representative from the local teacher’s union. This group has to further cut a budget that’s already been slashed more than $5 million in as many months. District spokeswoman Allison Westfall says the committee will operate much like it always does.  That sometimes includes soliciting ideas from the public but those have to be scrutinized carefully.

“To say are they legal, can we do it, what does it mean for the classroom? Those sorts of things,” Westfall explains.

Six weeks ago when the district thought its shortfall was $2.8 million, it eliminated most of the substitute teaching budget. Some citizens suggested volunteer subs. It took a few weeks but the district did decide that was legal.

Whatever new cuts Nampa makes, Westfall says they will be guided by some key principles. “We always put our students first and our staff, making sure that classroom relationship is protected as best as we can.”   

The district has already instituted a hiring freeze, and drained transportation and supply budgets.

Nampa’s budget committee does have some new faces. Joshua Jensen was the Deputy Superintendent and is now filling the top job after the superintendent resigned over the budget troubles. Michelle Yankovich, the district’s new financial officer is also on the committee. She took the job just as the shortfall first came to light.