NAMPA -- The Nampa School District Budget Committee held a special meeting Wednesday night, to discuss the nearly 400 suggestions they received to help the district offset a $4.3 million shortfall.
The committee discussed a variety of issues they will recommend to the school board tomorrow to cut costs and raise more money.
They talked attendance, athletics, activities, finance, the number of school days, transportation, and more to try to get the district through this time.
The first issue the committee tackled was kids showing up to school. Since state funding is tied to attendance, Committee Member Lynn Borud said if the schools could increase attendance by 3-percent, it would mean $1.3 million more in discretionary funding in May.
"The bottom line is just getting more kids in school because that's where they need to be," said Borud.
However, that is a more long-term goal. In the short term, the committee will recommend the school board institute activity and sports fees and activity cards, which they hope will raise $40,000 by the end of the year. Without immediate action, members worried about the consequences.
"I worry that kids aren't going to be able to go to state because the funding is not there and the fundraising it didn't generate the funds that we needed," said Committee Member and President of Nampa Education Association Mandy Simpson.
To raise more immediate funds, the district will likely seek a short-term bank loan.
In addition, the committee will recommend the school board sell a property on 12th street, which should raise $635,000, and recommend exploring grant opportunities to offset transportation costs.
They will also recommend the board look into auditing the insurance dependents of its employees to see who is ineligible, possibly saving $200-$400,000 a year.
Switching to a four-day workweek, adding an hour to the day, and forced furlough days were also discussed. However, those will have to be addressed with the union because the last thing the committee or district wants to do is push good teachers out of town.
"In talking to teachers it's a real feeling out there. It's a real feeling of, 'You know I've been doing this for years but I'm applying other places and I will break my contract this year if I have to because that's how miserable it is,'" said Simpson.
Again, these are all just recommendations being made by the committee to the school board Thursday.
In addition, their direction could completely change Thursday, when an interim superintendent will be announced.