Nampa schools search for answers in $4.3 million shortfall


by Stephanie Zepelin

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 7:24 PM

NAMPA, Idaho -- There's a multi-million dollar budget crisis in the Nampa School District, and now a new committee made of both school officials and community members is trying to get it under control.

The Nampa School District's last budget figures showed a deficit of $4.5 million for the 2013 fiscal year.

As of Tuesday night, the deficit had shrunk to $4.3 million, but still poses a major concern for both students and staff.

Many ask how the district will fix the budget and move forward.

On Tuesday night, the district's deputy superintendent talked to the budget committee about budgets from the past few years, and the main conclusion he drew was they just were not paying enough attention to the details of the district budget.

Tuesday was the first meeting with Nampa's new, expanded budget committee, and instead of only teachers and administrators, they also added folks from the community.

Allison Westfall with the Nampa School District says, "We hope they'll bring a new set of eyes to help us see this situation a little differently ... identify some things we haven't thought of."

The question facing the committee is how to make up for a $4.3 million budget shortfall.

The budget for the 2013 fiscal year has around $4 million less than 2012 and $5 million less than 2011.

Even with that smaller budget, the shortfall is still a big problem.

"It's one of the reasons they want to get as many ideas and solutions as they can from our parents, our employees, and the public, and take a look at those and see where we can save and where we can generate some revenue," said Westfall.

One budget issue was a $2.9 million boost from the state, which they received in 2011, and budgeted to get it again in 2012 ... but they did not.

They hope this type of oversight will be fixed with the new finance officer.

Westfall says, "She has a strong background in accounting and process improvement and she'll help us identify ways to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Westfall admits they get calls from concerned parents, wondering how this will affect their kids, but she says they have and will continue to put students and teachers as their top priority.

The district is looking for your ideas on how to cut spending or increase revenue.

Starting Wednesday, there will be a link on their website where you can give your suggestions.

You can also submit ideas through email or snail mail.

They will discuss some ideas and get public comment at the budget committee meeting Tuesday, October 16.


The Nampa School District has also created a committee this week to search for a new Superintendent for the Nampa School District.


This comes after Superintendent Gary Larson resigned late last month.