On March 11, voters within the Kuna School District will vote on whether or not to continue the school levy that has provided an extra $3.19 million to bridge the gap left in school funding reductions by the state budgets.
Kuna School Superintendent Wendy Johnson explained in a press release the history of these levies.
“Beginning in 2009, the state drastically reduced funding to districts, bringing total reductions to date to almost $9.5 million,” she said.
“In the first year of the cuts, the district formed a budget reduction committee comprised of varied stakeholders to review all facets of the district and find cost-cutting or revenue generating opportunities. Many of our patrons contributed in the process of finding ways to bridge the revenue gap. In addition to cuts, the committee recommended generating revenue through a supplemental levy. Since this time, our community has generously passed two supplemental levies that have helped bridge the gap in state funding for Kuna’s children. The $3.19 million that voters will be asked to approve or reject on March 11 is the same amount that voters approved two years ago. Idaho Code specifies that a supplemental levy expires every two years.”
She goes on to explain that with the passing of the levy the school district will continue to pay for staff and programs already in place. However, if the supplemental levy fails to pass she listed options that will be considered to reduce the budget. These include:
- Make all extra-curricular activities self-sufficient and/or eliminate programs that are not self-sufficient, approximately $500,000
- Reduce the number of teachers by 40 which increases class sizes of 36 or more at many grade levels, approximately $2 million
- Reduce administrator, supervisor and classified employee positions, approximately $1.3 million
- Draw down a majority of the district’s reserve funds, approximately $2 million
- Reduce instructional calendar by approximately 8 days, approximately $800,000
Johnson said that the board could choose to implement all, none or a combination of these options.
Voters can make their choice on March 11 but early voting is available now. To request absentee ballots or if you have any more questions about the voting process, visit http://www.adaweb.net/elections/ or http://www.canyoncounty.org/Elections.