When Mandy Simpson joins other school officials Monday in their first meeting on bridging a 7 percent budget gap, shell start with a question a math teacher would ask.
Its a big adding or subtracting error, said Simpson, who teaches algebra and geometry at Columbia High School and heads the Nampa Education Association. I dont understand how it got worse when we passed a levy and cut supplies and substitutes.
Officials announced a $2.8 million shortfall in August, saying the district had miscalculated revenues; last week, the shortfall grew to $4.5 million and the superintendent announced his resignation.
Simpson said she fears that 15,000 students will suffer as the district makes further cuts.
Our teachers are tired, our administrators are tired, our support staff are tired, Simpson said. And its September. At this pace, were not going to make it through the year very successfully.
Simpson said proposing another levy after the positive vote in August would meet with distrust. I think the calculating error is kind of scary and would imagine the public would be nervous about providing more money, she said.
All options must be considered, she said, from selling district land to asking the community to donate toilet paper.
Shes hearing concern about cutting extracurricular offerings, including sports, which keep some kids in school who otherwise might drop out.
We have to think outside the box because our focus has got to be on preparing quality lessons and quality education, Simpson said.
Dan Popkey: 377-6438, Twitter: @IDS_politics