Nampa School Board Needs Public to Help Clean Up $4.3 Million Mess

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The Nampa School Board, in its effort to wade through a swamp of red ink, voted Tuesday night to put a $4.3 million levy before voters on Tuesday, March 12.

The Nampa School District's budget mess began after officials had projected a nearly $2 million surplus during fiscal year 2011, when in fact, it operated on a $1 million deficit. School officials said the mistake "was camouflaged by $3 million in federal stimulus money that hadn't been budgeted for." District budget officials said that the stimulus money was "double budgeted." Additionally, state support was overbudgeted by nearly $1 million.

Because of the budget mess, Nampa School Superintendent Gary Larsen resigned from his post in late September.

In this morning's edition of Boise Weekly, we asked Karen Echeverria, executive director of the Idaho School Boards Association, about the Nampa budget controversy and whether administrators and board members had adequate governance training in the months and years leading up to the snafu.

"We've looked at a list to see which school boards received governance training and we found school boards that we've seen in the news recently — Nampa, Garden Valley, Coeur d'Alene—those are the districts that haven't had training for a while, and we offer free governance training every three years," she said.

You can read our full interview in the new issue, which hit the streets this morning.

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