Nampa School District

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Nampa School District’s financial hole keeps getting deeper. The most recent figure for the budget deficit in Idaho’s third largest district was a little more than $5 million. But at a school board meeting Tuesday night district officials revealed they also owe another $1.2 million in building bonds. The money had been used for general operations instead of being paid back on time. 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It’s been a tough year in the Nampa School District after a $5.1 million budget shortfall surfaced last August. That has led to deep cuts including a near elimination of money for substitute teachers. Now tension between the district and the teacher’s union is growing.

Mandy Simpson teaches math and coaches golf in Nampa. She's also the president of the Nampa Education Association. She’s been in the district almost ten years.

School districts across Idaho are asking voters for more money Tuesday through levies. Many districts that are still recovering from years of state budget cuts say they need more help from local residents. The Payette school district, for example, may have to close a small elementary school and send its students to other district schools.  

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

We’ve been following the budget crisis in the Nampa School District since last summer. That was when the state’s third largest district revealed accounting errors had created a deficit of $4.3 million. That is also the levy amount the district is asking Nampa voters to approve Tuesday.

Since its crisis began the Nampa School District has eliminated most of the substitute teaching budget, furloughed employees, decided to sell off land. But that’s not enough. That’s why fourth grade teacher Carmi Scheller is counting on the levy.

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. 

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The Nampa School District will ask voters for an extra $4.3 million in March. The district’s board voted Tuesday night to ask for a one year supplemental levy to help fill its budget hole. The deficit was discovered last summer and blamed on accounting errors.

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Nampa’s school board met in a special session Wednesday night to continue work on fixing the district’s $4.5 million budget shortfall. The board decided to continue efforts to borrow money. It also agreed to move toward a spring levy but stopped short of committing to the idea.

That’s in part because they want to see how successful the loan effort is. The district has a month to meet the deadline to put a levy on the March ballot.

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Last week the Nampa School District mandated four furlough days for all classified staff. That’s part of the district's plan to overcome a budget deficit of about $4.5 million. The district says teachers don’t have to take furloughs but, some say that’s not what they’re hearing.

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Nampa’s school board has approved some money saving and revenue raising steps to fill about a $4.5 million shortfall. That budget hole was discovered last summer and blamed on accounting errors. The board approved recommendations Tuesday night from a special committee.

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The Nampa School District won’t replace its deputy superintendent. Josh Jensen resigned this week from the troubled district’s number two position. Accounting errors have left Nampa in a budget hole near $4.5 million. The district’s Superintendent resigned two months ago. The new interim superintendent starts next week. In an e-mail to employees Tuesday a Nampa spokesperson said the district has accepted Jensen’s resignation effective immediately. It continues:

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The Nampa School District is mired in a serious budget crisis. Accounting errors discovered last summer have put the state’s third largest district deep in the red. The deficit is now believed to be more than $4 million.

jdog90 / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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The Nampa School District says its budget shortfall is larger than first thought. The estimate is now $4.5 million. In August, the state’s third largest district announced that overspending last year had created a shortfall of $2.8 million. District spokeswoman Allison Westfall says an internal audit wrapping up now revises that amount down to $2.4 million. But Westfall says the audit then turned to this year’s budget.

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As a group, property owners in Meridian and Eagle will pay half a million dollars more this year. That’s because the state’s largest school district passed an emergency levy this week. This type of levy does not require voter approval. School boards can pass them if student enrollment exceeds expectations.

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