Typically, by this time in August, hallways and classrooms in the Kuna School District are full of kids. But this year, Kuna students are getting two extra days of summer.
“We delayed it until Thursday. Normally we've started on Tuesday,” David Reinhart, a district spokesman, said. "We're starting a day after the state fair or after the fair sale.”
The Western Idaho Fair is a big part of this Kuna community. Reinhart said several kids participate in programs every year like 4-H.
"Kuna was really founded as a farming community, that base is still there even though we're experiencing rapid growth,” he said. “These are families that aren't just attending the fair. These are families that worked for several months or up to a year on an animal or project."
That means a lot of empty desks the first two days of school, which isn’t good for those students or the district as a whole.
"The more students, the more funding,” Reinhart said.
State funding is calculated through attendance records. The district says the number of students who would have missed the first two days to attend the fair could have cost them $150,000 in state funding, potentially affecting jobs.
“That means approximately three staff members, and so we thought it important to get that funding and get the staff members and start the day after,” Reinhart said.
He said it’s a delicate dance that the district believes benefits everyone.
"We find ourselves in that spot somewhere between a rural school district and suburban school district, so we have a couple of cultures," he said.