The Nampa School District is asking voters to approve a $4.3 million supplemental levy, without increasing taxes.
The districts campaign slogan is, Yes just makes cents. We agree and encourage voters to give administrators the tools they need to meet operational obligations. People may vote on the levy through March 12.
Administrators say they can move $4.3 million into operations, while financing bonds at a lower interest rate. Its a juggling act, but something that the district needs to do to get back on track financially. A no vote would force the district to make some draconian budget cuts on top of the recent cuts that have been made.
The district is offering a win-win formula, with no small credit going to Tom Michaelson, the new superintendent of schools. Hes had some help from a budget committee that includes both citizens and district and school staff, appointed in October to straighten out the districts financial mess.
School officials, to their credit, are acknowledging mistakes in the recent past. In August, it was discovered that, through severe miscalculations, Nampa schools were operating at a $2.3 million deficit. The revelation led to the resignation of Superintendent Gary Larsen, with Michaelson taking the job in November.
Allison Westfall, the school districts spokeswoman, said some community anger remains about past mistakes. But once that is acknowledged and noted that all the budget staff and district leaders involved are gone, folks tend to refocus on solutions, she said.
So thats what voters should do refocus. This levy election is partially about giving a new superintendent and leadership team an opportunity to put the district on sound financial ground. Mostly, its about giving kids the best education and best environment possible under unfortunate conditions.
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