Spending cuts and new revenue will be on the table when the districts top officers begin meeting next week, Deputy Superintendent Joshua Jensen said Thursday.
At this point in the game we need to look at all options, said Jensen, who is leading Idahos third-largest district after the resignation of 18-year Superintendent Gary Larsen.
Already, the district has said it will keep open positions unfilled, and cut substitute teaching, supplies and transportation spending.
The committee will have at least seven members: Jensen, Finance Officer Michelle Yankovich, HR chief Steven Kipp, the principals of Nampa, Skyview and Columbia high schools and a representative of the teachers union.
Nampa, with more than 15,000 students, is No. 3 behind Meridian and Boise. Meeting with employees Thursday, Jensen said he urged them to be positive. Its not insurmountable. We can overcome this.
Larsen disclosed a $2.8 million gap in the districts $66.6 million 2012-13 budget to the School Board last month. But last week, in his resignation letter, he said the shortfall was drastically different.
Only Thursday did the $4.5 million figure emerge, after district officials decided to apply more scrutiny.
We didnt see this coming and figured wed better take a hard look, Jensen said.
Danielle Sisayaket, a district accountant whose job was eliminated a year ago, has filed a lawsuit alleging she was terminated for raising concerns about questionable accounting practices.
There is no evidence of theft or fraud, Jensen said, though the board voted Tuesday to hire an independent auditor to review district finances.
Jensen said questions raised about neighboring districts that laid off proportionally more workers and had more furlough days now make sense.
We should have been making deeper cuts over the last few years, he said. Weve been overestimating our revenue and spending that money.
District spokeswoman Allison Westfall said parents, students and staff are anxious.
There is certainly concern about what does it mean to me and when are we going to get the answers, she said.
Jensen said theres no timeline for the committees work. But I feel a sense of urgency and well start acting to chip away at this deficit.
Dan Popkey: 377-6438, Twitter: @IDS_politics