150 staff plan to leave school district plagued with financial troubles

150 staff plan to leave school district plagued with financial troubles

Print
Email
|

by Andrea Lutz, Karen Zatkulak, and KTVB.COM

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 10 at 5:30 PM

NAMPA -- 150 staff members will not be returning to their jobs in the Nampa School District next year.

The new development comes as the district continues to battle a major, multi-million dollar budget shortfall discovered last August.

Dozens of open positions are posted on the school district's website, so it appears those jobs will be filled. However, it's not clear who will be taking them.

Teachers and their supporters expressed frustration about the current situation at a tailgate party prior to Tuesday's regularly-scheduled school board meeting.

Nampa Education Association representatives say they wanted to welcome two new school board members and show teacher support throughout the community.

Mike Fuller and Brian McGourty officially joined the Nampa school board on Tuesday.

"New board of trustees here, we wanted to welcome them to the school board and start the communication," said Mandy Simpson, President of the NEA.

The NEA is still in contract negotiations with the Nampa School District, and Simpson still maintains the district's current offer of 14 furlough days is not acceptable. She also adds that neither is a proposed change to employee benefits and insurance.

Kristen Fields is a photography teacher in the Nampa School District and was at Tuesday's tailgate. In September, she and her husband will welcome their first child, a baby boy they plan to name Lex.

Fields says the cuts will hit her family hard.

"If it were nine months ago, I would either not be planning to have a baby, or I would be looking at other possibilities for positions," said Fields.

As it stands now Fields might lose her short term disability, or what she would use as paid maternity leave through contract negotiations.

"It's a big disappointment, especially after working somewhere for five years," Fields says. "With the possibility of losing a benefit that is really given basically to every other professional whether or not they are in the teaching industry."

WHAT'S NEXT

The Nampa School District continues to pull its budget back into the black, and restore millions of dollars lost through error. Officials with the district have repeatedly said they know every cut will hit hard, but that cuts still need to be made. Staff salaries make up the biggest part of Nampa's budget.

Fields is hoping teachers won't continue to feel the brunt of the cuts. She has a new family to think about, but also says she sees the effects on students.

"They have just trickled down to have a really big impact on the teachers, and have an even bigger impact on our students," said Fields.

The school board did submit its latest round of teacher contracts to the state before the July 1 deadline. However, the district still can go back and make changes.

What's more, the teachers union and the district have tentatively agreed on leave time.

However, the N.E.A. says 14 furlough days and the proposed change to benefits and insurance are not acceptable.

The negotiations resume on July 18 and are open to the public.

Print
Email
|