Nampa School District Trustees took another slice out of their $5.1 million deficit Tuesday night by agreeing to contract with an outside company for janitorial services, a savings of $305,000.
The district is closing in on its financial hole but it still faces another $2.9 million in cuts to balance its budget for the next school year.
Officials are considering a number of steps, including a reduction of 40 to 50 certified staff and reduction of stipends for staffers who take on extracurricular activities such as athletics and debate.
The district is also considering cuts to administration and the outsourcing of nutritional services.
The school district must eliminate red ink and live within its means, said superintendent Tom Michaelson.
The board's decision means the districts' 83 custodial employees will no longer work for the district after June. But school officials say they will go to work at comparable pay for the company in negotiations with Nampa to take over janitorial services at the schools.
Cost savings will come from the benefit packages, officials said.
The company is GCA Services, based in Cleveland. It has 180 school district contracts and does custodial work for all of Micron Technology Inc.'s U.S. sites. It has an office in Boise.
The board's 3-2 decision followed an hour of testimony from teachers and custodians who pleaded with the board not to farm out custodial services.
Vie Guitierrez, a team custodial leader at Greenhurst Elementary School, said she is as concerned with security at her school as the cleaning. She checks 37 doors every day at school.
"I do this because I love those people and I love those kids," she said.
Outsourcing custodial work is the latest in a series of moves by the Nampa School District to close a deficit that was first detected last summer at $2.8 million, but mushroomed to $5.1 million.
Trustees will consider outsourcing the district's nutrition staff at a special board meeting at 7 p.m. May 7 at Nampa High School's little theater.
District voters in March agreed to a one-year levy to raise $4.3 million and the district is preparing to sell some property near Nampa High School for $600,000, which would raise a total of $4.9 million, leaving the district to start its 2013-2014 school year just $200,000 in debt.
Trustees also voted to close Sunny Ridge Elementary School, at an estimated savings of $500,000, just days after voters approved the bond.
Bill Roberts: 377-6408, Twitter: @IDS_BillRoberts