Nampa to impose four furlough days on classified staff, teachers boo decision
A well-attended but mostly tame Nampa School District board meeting turned nasty Tuesday night, following a proposal to force unpaid leave on janitors, lunchroom workers and classroom assistants. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
A well-attended but mostly tame Nampa School District board meeting turned nasty Tuesday night, following a proposal to force unpaid leave on janitors, lunchroom workers and classroom assistants.
“It makes me sick to my stomach,” Nampa Education Association Pres., Columbia High math teacher and budget committee member Mandy Simpson said to the board of trustees, “because I know the impact our classified staff brings to our district.”
Simpson addressed the board several times—often with the vocal support of a roomful of teachers at her back.
“So, in my special ed. class of 37-plus kids,” Simpson asked the board, “do I lose a paraprofessional who’s going to help me because they're taking a mandatory furlough day?”
“Hear! Hear!” a woman behind her yelled in agreement.
Mandy pointed out the absence of any dollar-savings estimate, suggesting the district messed up its math.
“I’m going to disagree with that and have to gavel you down,” Nampa School District Board Chairman Scott Kido said.
Before unanimously approving the four furlough days, the board responded to Mandy and the grumbling gallery.
“If I could give four days, I would,” Vice Chairman Dale Wheeler said. “But you know what my salary is? Zero.”
“Would you rather not have a paycheck during the months of May, June, July and August?” trustee Bob Otten asked. “Then your school district is going to close down.”
Maybe that was hyperbole. Maybe it wasn’t. But those unhappy with this first round of approved cuts might recognize some foreshadowing of even more difficult decisions to come.
“Things that are going to happen will not be popular with anybody,” Otten said.