Some Idaho School Districts Could Lose Millions After Voters Repeal Education Law
Idaho’s school districts are beginning to understand what the repeal of the Student’s Come First education laws will mean for them financially. Voters repealed those laws earlier this month through ballot Propositions 1, 2 and 3. The repeal restores some funding the laws took away. That means a few districts will get more money. The Lake Pend Oreille, Coeur D’Alene, Lewiston and Lapwai districts will all come out ahead.
But most districts will lose money. The repeal takes money that had been set aside for things like classroom technology and sends it to a state rainy day account.
In Meridian, the state’s largest district, finance director Alex Simpson estimates a loss of about 4 million dollars.
Simpson: “Tough times for the rest of this year and it’d be a tough year next year. You would have to start looking at what you would do to save money, period.”
Simpson says the first action the district would likely take is implementing a hiring freeze. But he’s hoping it won’t come to that.
Meridian administrators plan to wait and see if the legislature decides to send some or all of the lost money to districts when it convenes in January. Simpson says they made Meridian’s budget according to what the law was at the time and lawmakers should honor that.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio