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Parma School District speaking out on community rumors ahead of levy election

The district says in a message to the community that rumors are trying to ruin a chance at passing a levy, all to prove a point to district staff.

PARMA, Idaho — Eve of election across Idaho, bonds and levies are on the menu across the state this election time around.

One Idaho school district is speaking out for a unique reason ahead of election day, they say community rumors are trying to ruin their chance at passing a levy, all to prove a point.

So, the Parma School District is sending their own message to the community, what passing the question will and will not do.

The school district is trying to tell the community they are asking for a continued levy because of changes in how the state sends money to school districts. That changed from sending funds based on enrollment to being based on daily average attendance.

Parma says because of the change, they are losing funds.

Parma school district had a special pop-up window on their website that reads:
"We have heard rumors that there are community members telling other community members to "vote no" on the supplemental levy in order to prove a point to administration. We hope this is not true as the continuation of the supplemental levy is for the benefit of students and the programs, we want to provide in order to educate the whole child."

Superintendent Stoney Winston tells KTVB the rumors and situation there is rooted in a personnel issue he couldn't expand on.

But the district says they want people in the community to understand the impact of voting yes or no, whatever their choice is.

"Going from enrollment to ADA (average daily attendance). It was about a $700,000 hit. Looking at the budget, we are not increasing any of our supplies or anything like that. Even though inflation has gone through the roof, we're keeping those supply accounts the same. We're just trying to maintain that, maintain our current staffing," Winston said.

The district adds in their message to the community, which was also posted on social media, if the supplemental levy were to fail, they may be forced to make some cuts to staffing.

That includes the first year School Resource Officer, a Counselor position, a STEAM Teacher, and a Paraprofessional, among other things.

The district says they could also not fill current openings and make changes within a building, as well as charge an athletic "pay-to-play" fee.

Other changes could be made, like class size, and teacher workload.
District says, however the community votes, they want people to know the facts and know the message being sent with a vote.

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