Press-Tribune: Firefighters, Police Help Save Nampa After-School Programs


Two Canyon County nonprofits have stepped in to save their region's after-school programs in the wake of the Nampa School District budget mess.

The district's budget tangle 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.

Additionally, the Nampa School Board voted in December to end funding for after-school busing to programs at the Boys and Girls Club of Nampa, the Nampa Recreation Center and the Salvation Army.

But this morning's Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the Nampa Firefighters Union and the Nampa Police Association have each committed at least $1,000 toward the cost of busing students to the after-school programs.

“There are many safety-related benefits to supporting these programs,” Shaun Laughlin, vice president of the Nampa Firefighters Union, told the Press-Tribune. “Although the benefits of these programs are immeasurable, a few are that they provide a supervised, positive atmosphere in which to learn, play, and have good social interactions with volunteers and other children.”