Community Blog: The EDge

A big budget week looms for the Nampa School District

A key week looms for the Nampa School District — as school board members and a new interim superintendent look to erase a $5.1 million deficit.

The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the 2013-14 budget. The meeting will be held at district offices, 619 S. Canyon St.

Pete Koehler
Pete Koehler, interim Nampa superintendent

When the board last met to discuss budget matters, trustees agreed to cut 27 teaching jobs, largely through attrition, and 4 ½ administrative positions. But the board did not act on a proposal to cut elementary school counseling, music and physical education positions, as recommended by interim Superintendent Thomas Michaelson. When the board deferred on the issue, Michaelson resigned, effective May 31. Nampa High School Principal Pete Koehler will take over as interim superintendent.

On Friday, the school district and the Nampa Education Association will meet to try to negotiate a 2013-14 master agreement. With salaries and benefits making up 84 percent of the Nampa district’s general fund budget, these contract negotiations are critical to coming up with a balanced budget by the district’s 2013-14 June 18 deadline.

Among the big budget variables facing the board: a 12 percent increase in employee insurance premiums, potentially costing the district $700,000.

The negotiation session will be held from 7 to 9 a.m., also in district offices.

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Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger at Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org). Kevin is a former Statesman editorial page editor, with 27 year's experience in Idaho journalism.

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