NAMPA -- The process for moving forward is ongoing for the Nampa School District. The district recently announced a $2.8 million budget deficit is actually worse than first thought. The oversight is actually $4.5 million.
“We began the school year learning we had a deficit carried over from the prior year,” said Nampa School District spokesperson Allison Westfall.
Westfall said the next step is forming a budget committee that will help shape a plan to fix their budget.
She said for the past three years the district has utilized a budget committee made up of roughly six administrators. That budget committee will be back this year, and it will increase to what could be 20 people.
Those with the Nampa School District are trying to stay transparent with the public about their financial troubles.
“We certainly have lost the public trust and confidence in our finances and where we are at, and it’s important that we rebuild that,” said Westfall.
However, parents remain worried.
“I guess confused as to how such a large amount of money could be miscounted,” said Cynthia Metcalf.
Metcalf has two kids in the district now and in just a few more years another three will start school.
“As a parent you know, you worry about the quality of education going down,” she said.
But Westfall said there is work being done every day to fix the $4.5 million mistake.
The district hopes to have a committee nailed down by Wednesday.
“The problem is different this year, so our school board chair is joining the committee, and then we are asking some community members with experience in finance and who know a little bit about schools, if they would be interested in serving on the committee,” said Westfall.
Westfall said there are many rumors floating around the community about the deficit and programs already being cut, but she said no decisions have been made yet. She encourages parents to talk to their children’s teachers about the situation.
Once a committee is formed, district officials hope to move forward with community understanding and support.
Although she is nervous, Metcalf says she’ll stand behind the Nampa School District. She has been pleased with their school system so far.
“So I think over the long run we will be able to pull it back together,” said Metcalf. “We are invested here, so we want to see it improve.”
There is much more work for the district.
Administrators are trying to find a firm to conduct an independent audit, and they need to find another superintendent after the school board accepted former Superintendent Gary Larson's resignation last Tuesday.