MIDDLETON, Idaho — The Middleton School District is asking residents for the third time to approve a two-year, $1.5 million levy. The Middleton School District voted 3-0 this week to ask if residents will support the levy for supplementing budgets on August 25.
Like all school districts in Idaho, Middleton was forced to cut the 2019-20 budget by one percent and another five percent for the 2020-21 Fiscal Year. The state ordered cuts were prompted by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Trustees agreed it would be very difficult to cut another $1 million from the 2020-21 Fiscal Year budget. The district is still looking at other areas to cut expenses.
“Our hands are tied by the state in certain areas with the holdbacks,” Trustee Derek Moore said. “Even if we have the levy, we are still cutting costs. The levy helps us survive. What worries me more is, can we come out of it.”
Chairman Kirk Adams indicated at an earlier board meeting that he probably couldn’t support a third attempt at getting the levy passed because voters have said no twice.
“But, I don't know that it's fair to have three board members make the decision not to give the district a chance to sell this for the whole summer with actual numbers (available now.)”
Trustee Aleisha McConkie said she agreed with the comments as well. But she raised an important question.
“I'm hopeful that the transparency and the true numbers that we can attach to this budget will help explain some of the reasons why we need this money but I also hope that we can have discussion about long-term funding as a board and as a district and even with our local governments as to this is an ongoing problem and we need to come with come up with a better solution than continually having to ask our taxpayers to help,” McConkie said.