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Eye On Boise

Mon., Feb. 9, 2009, 4:37 p.m.

What the cuts would mean to school districts

Rep. Phyllis King, D-Boise, left, and Stan Olson, superintendent of the Boise School District, right, discuss the impact of proposed state budget cuts on the Boise district. Boise-area lawmakers invited local school officials in to discuss how the cuts would affect local schools; House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, said he encourages all lawmakers to talk with their local school officials. Nonini said he's hoping to unveil legislation later this week to change state laws to allow the cuts. 2/9/09 (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)
Rep. Phyllis King, D-Boise, left, and Stan Olson, superintendent of the Boise School District, right, discuss the impact of proposed state budget cuts on the Boise district. Boise-area lawmakers invited local school officials in to discuss how the cuts would affect local schools; House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, said he encourages all lawmakers to talk with their local school officials. Nonini said he's hoping to unveil legislation later this week to change state laws to allow the cuts. 2/9/09 (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise, left, and Boise School District Superintendent Stan Olson, right, discuss the impact of proposed state budget cuts on the Boise school district. Boise-area legislators invited Olson and other local district officials to the Capitol Annex for the discussion. House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, who sat in on a few minutes of the briefing, said, "I appreciate the Boise legislators talking to their local school district - it's the same thing we're doing up home. ... We're all talking to our local districts." Nonini said the biggest message he's gotten is "the school districts need some tools they don't currently have to get to those budget numbers." He said he hopes to unveil legislation, possibly as early as Wednesday of this week, to make such changes.

Olson told the lawmakers that the proposed change in lottery and maintenance funds to districts could impact the payoff plans for the Boise district's current bond issue. "We are not panicking - this is not an end-of-the-world scenario," he said, but it could pose problems. The cuts, as proposed by state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna, would eliminate funding for 4.1 full-time administrative positions in the Boise district, district officials calculated. The district would lose $1.45 million from a proposed change in transportation funding allocations, and $91,000 from funds for field trips and other busing costs. It'd lose $740,000 per day for each day of cuts in funding for staff salaries, $370,400 from a proposed cut in textbook funding and $72,500 from a reduction in money for classroom supplies.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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