It's a long, hot summer for educators in the Treasure Valley.
The Boise School District cut its 2010-2011 spending plan by $11.5 million, compared to the 2009-2010 year. That will translate to salary freezes, at least three furlough days, eliminating counseling positions at three high schools and cutting budgets for new textbooks.
But then some good news arrived today from the Boise Public Education Foundation like a cool breeze.
For the new school year, more than $140,000 is being allotted to District teachers, staff and programs.
According to the Foundation, for 2010-2011, all 8th grade students in the Boise District will get hands-on learning in mobile Earth Science labs. In addition, new funding will make possible chess programs, musical instruments and library books. Plus, the Foundation has created the Student Aid Fund for Emergencies, or SAFE. Each year, funds are given to Boise students and families with a range of economic hardships. This past school year, SAFE distributed $50,000 for medication, grocery bills, utility bills and medical care.
Almost 25,000 students will walk through the doors of 53 Boise Public Schools on Wednesday, August 25, the first day of the new school year. More than 40 percent qualify for free or reduced price meals, an indicator of childhood poverty.