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Athletics holding up Middleton schools budget

The school district is grappling with cutting $2.3 million from its 2020-2021 school year budget.

MIDDLETON, Idaho — As students prepare to head back to class next month, many local school districts are still working out their budgets.

In Middleton, athletics is preventing the district from finalizing a $2.3 million budget cut for the coming school year.

The plan would cost $250 to $550 per child, per sport played.

Those discussions have been tabled for now after the district says they got about 70 emails about the matter.

Right now, the district is being forced to cut its budget because of the coronavirus and the failure to pass a $1.5 million supplemental levy. The levy will be back on the August 25th ballot.

The district says if the levy would have passed it would have reduced the pay-to-play charge to $110 per sport.

"We simply don't have the funds necessary to support athletics without further negatively impacting academics," Superintendent Kristin Beck said.

Trustee Aleisha McConkie said she's nervous about the cost being so high that athletes might move to other districts, creating a new consequence for the Middleton School District with less state funding on a per-pupil basis.

Trustee Kirk Adams noted that no matter the pay-to-play cost, the district would likely lose some student athletes.

District officials said that Caldwell, Vallivue and Nampa, have supplemental levies in place, and don't charge athletes to pay.

As far as reopening schools goes, the district says, it will reopen schools this fall with what they are calling limited face-to-face student instruction.

They say these will follow CDC and Southwest District Health guidelines.

An online schooling system is also being put into place which students can opt into if they choose.

"Whatever the circumstances may be in 2020-2021, MSD is committed to offering a high quality education to all students regardless of the delivery method required," the plan states.

RELATED: Middleton School District to ask patrons to approve $1.5 million levy in August

RELATED: Two Middleton School Board members resign in protest; remaining members pledge unity with district leadership

RELATED: Middleton education leaders pledge unity in the district after superintendent suddenly resigns

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