The Nampa School District got permission from a judge Monday to borrow money. District officials went to the court because they didn’t know if Idaho law permitted them to take out loans to help fix their $4.3 million shortfall.
Nampa spokesperson Allison Westfall says the district will take out a loan this spring no matter what voters say to a March levy request. She says the district won’t be able to pay its bills otherwise.
But Westfall says if voters approve the levy they can pay back the loan with that money. If voters say no they’ll have to pay it back with state funds over time.
“There’s a lot of unknowns yet,” she says. “But if the levy is not approved then we do anticipate that we would have to cut deeper possibly over a period of years.”
The district has already made cuts since the shortfall was discovered last summer. Most recently it approved furloughs for all administrators and classified staff and more than half of teachers volunteered for furloughs. Westfall says that will save the district about half a million dollars.
Nampa district officials have not yet set an amount or specified a lender for the loan. They will send out a request for proposal and expect to secure the money by spring.
The $4.3 million shortfall in the state’s third largest school district was blamed on accounting errors. Nampa’s longtime superintendent resigned last year because of the crisis.
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