Nampa School District Budget Crisis
Budget shortfall. The Nampa school district recommends another levy to make up for a shortfall of several million dollars. The district is teetering on the edge of its own financial cliff. That has a lot of parents asking what's next, and wondering Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
The Nampa school district recommends another levy to make up for a shortfall of several million dollars. The district is teetering on the edge of its own financial cliff. That has a lot of parents asking what's next, and wondering if bankruptcy is a possibility. No school in Idaho has ever declared bankruptcy.
It’s a word that no one wants to even say out loud. We decided to find out what the worst case scenario for the Nampa School District is. And, could it even file for bankruptcy if it wants to?
The former chief economist for Idaho says our call prompted him to find out. He says bankruptcy is not an option.
“A failed school district would be absorbed per instructions from the board of education, into other school districts, and the obligations would then pass on to the district to assume those responsibilities,” said Michael Ferguson, the former Chief Economist for Idaho and current director of the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy.
That answer leaves some parents with more questions.The PTA president for Ronald Reagan elementary says parents aren't sure what to do. but, she says there's a lot the community can do to get involved and it doesn't have to just be for attending meetings.
“Set an outlook calendar, a reminder, check the district's website, check the meeting notes, if you can do so, attend a meeting, see where they're at in the decision making process because those crucial votes are going to come. There’s a lot of issues on the table, if you want a voice, make it heard,” said Robin Campagna, PTA President for Ronald Reagan Elementary.
She doesn’t blame the school district, but she says parents need more information. She suggested using Skype to broadcast meetings and post more information online.
The district has explored every option. Everything from cutting salaries to reducing maintenance costs. At this point it's unclear what the district will do.
The state board of education also says, it's unclear if a school could declare bankruptcy. If it did, it's most likely the state schools superintendent would step in.