- U.S. Department of Education, CC by 2.0
Earlier this year, the Nampa School District entered an agreement with a local agency to "rebrand" its image in the shadow of a budget crisis that defined much of 2012 and 2013.
Resignations, furloughs and terminated contracts came in the wake of a mess that began after school officials projected a nearly $2 million surplus when, in reality, they were operating at a $1 million deficit. Making matters worse, state support was over-budgeted by nearly $1 million.
In late March, Nampa school officials announced six of their district's elementary schools would launch new after-school programs starting in fall 2016. At the same time, the Idaho Press-Tribune reports the district is planning to introduce several full-day, every-day kindergarten classes at Owyhee, Reagan and Lake Ridge elementary schools. But it won't come cheap. The Press-Tribune says full-day kindergarten parents would pay $2,160 per school year to help fund the program. The $240-per-month (for nine months) would be necessary, officials said, to increase kindergarten teachers' salaries from part- to full-time. Idaho does not require its school districts to offer full-time kindergarten, so the state only provides enough support for part-timers.
“The resources don’t exist at this point to do that," Nancy Chopko, Nampa director of elementary education, told the Press-Tribune, referring to the district's inability to offer full-time kindergarten for free. "This is an investment in our children and our community.”