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How budget cuts will impact students in the Caldwell School District

Posted at 10:13 PM, Jun 03, 2024

CALDWELL, Idaho — District officials discussing budget changes, elementary rezoning and middle school reconfiguration for the upcoming school year.

  • The board and superintendent addressing why Lincoln Elementary was chosen to close, citing low efficiency with energy use as Lincoln is an older building.
  • Jefferson will be home to 5th and 6th graders in the district, and Syringa was picked for 7th and 8th graders because it was built as a high school and has more mature facilities.
  • The board of trustees will officially approve the budget, and other proposed plans, for the next school year at the next board meeting. They will be taking public comment at that June 10th meeting.
  • The district will put another levy on the November ballot, if passed, the funds would go into effect Jan 2026.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Dozens of neighbors gathering at Lincoln Elementary to hear the board and district officials talk about changes to budgets, elementary school boundaries and middle schools.

"When I heard the news about the school closure I was really concerned about this community that I have been serving for the past year as a student teacher," said Paige Busmann, incoming teacher for Caldwell School District.

The board and superintendent addressing why Lincoln Elementary was chosen to close, citing low efficiency with energy use as Lincoln is an older building.

Then superintendent Dr. Fench revealed that there are plans to move district operations to Lincoln, "the district office now that will be renovated so that Canyon Springs could move to that facility, because it is in better shape."

The district's goal is to move out of their current building by December and then eventually have Canyon Springs Alternative High School operations move to their building on Fillmore St.

Also on the agenda, rezoning proposals of elementary schools now that the district will take over Lincoln.

"So, I think that our team and our schools across the district will make the most of this opportunity," said Paul Webster, Community Schools and Family Engagement Coordinator.

Incoming teacher Paige Busmann feels the change will most likely increase the amount of students in each classroom, "So, what I would expect differentiation will probably be a little more difficult with the rezoning."

Besides the scheduled closure of Lincoln Elementary, plans to cut district staff, school resources officers, and transportation to activities and athletic events.

Middle school students will also see big change in the coming school year, as 5th and 6th graders will attend Jefferson, and 7th and 8th graders will make the move to Syringa Middle, making elementary schools only up to 4th grade.

"These kids that are starting out in 5th grade, by the time they get to Caldwell High School, they will be so unified and so together as one, that who knows what they can achieve once they get there," said Karen Camero, Principal, Jefferson Middle School.

As for the teachers at Lincoln, the district tells me they're being offered positions at other schools.