Idaho school Superintendent Tom Luna said this week the voter repeal of his education laws would mean a financial hit to districts. Today his department released an estimate of that impact. It says the Nov. 6 ‘no’ votes on Propositions 1, 2 and 3, takes more than $36 million off the table.
That money had been slated for schools. Nampa School’s spokesperson Allison Westfall says her district has been trying to figure out what the repeal means for them.
“There are some things we need to learn more about,” says Westfall. “There was a clause in there about funding for certified staff. There was professional development dollars, technology. So what becomes of all that? And we are eager to hear the answers.”
Nampa isn’t alone. Representatives from the Boise and Meridian School districts also say they’re trying to figure out what the repeal will mean for their budgets.
The repeal of Luna’s Students Come First education laws does return some money to the state’s bank account. The Idaho Education Department estimate includes nearly $14 million in restored funds. That puts the net funding loss on school districts at $23 million.
Still, that loss for school districts might not be permanent. As StateImpact Idaho reported last month, that $36 million doesn’t disappear. The money goes into the Department of Education’s rainy day account. The Department can’t spend it, or reallocate without the Legislature’s approval.