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Posts tagged: Nampa School District

Judge rules against Nampa School District in teacher contract case

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports today that a Canyon County judge has upheld collective bargaining law for Idaho teachers, ruling that the Nampa School District can’t skirt the local teachers union to sign contracts with individual teachers calling for unpaid furloughs. The Nampa Education Association, not the individual teachers, is the legal negotiating agent between educators and the district, 3rd District Judge Molly Huskey ruled.

Paul Stark, attorney for the NEA, told the Press-Tribune, “We’re appreciative that the rule of law has been upheld in this case, and that the collective bargaining process has been defended and validated. The ruling is going to ensure that deviations from the law like this will not happen again in Nampa, and hopefully not in other parts of the state.

The newspaper reported that district public information officer Allison Westfall said the district was disappointed with the order, but glad the matter’s now settled. “Our sole intent last December was to find a way to accommodate those individual teachers who came forward wanting to volunteer for furlough days to help with the district’s financial crisis,” she said. Read the paper’s full report here from reporter John Funk.

Series of house raffles to bail out troubled school district canceled, after found to violate law

A plan to bail out the financially troubled Nampa School District through a series of house raffles has been suspended, after it turned out to be in violation of state gambling laws. Retired developer Phil Allaire planned to sell $100 raffle tickets for 40 Nampa homes he would buy and refurbish; he’d be reimbursed for his costs, and he estimated the school district could get $4.3 million in proceeds. Allaire had been working with the state Lottery on his plan, but the Lottery sent him a letter Tuesday saying his plan violated several state and federal laws.

Allaire, who’d already sold 47 tickets, said he’ll refund them. He criticized the Lottery’s “obstinate attitudes and positions,” and said he may sue. Among the problems the Lottery’s charitable gaming enforcement division identified in his plan: Since he was donating the homes to the non-profit that would run the lottery, state laws wouldn’t allow him to be reimbursed for his costs from the lottery’s proceeds; lottery ticket sales over the Internet violate state law; and no specific date was set for the drawing, which Allaire planned to hold whenever 2,500 tickets had been sold for the next house.

The Idaho Statesman has posted the Lottery’s letter here and Allaire’s announcement here; Idaho EdNews has a full report here, and the Statesman’s full report is here. KTVB-TV has a report here.

Nampa schools take another financial hit

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — The Nampa School District is facing a $1.2 million hit after a financial analyst discovered the money went to general operations rather than repayment of bonds. District Finance Officer Michelle Yankovich told the Nampa school board Tuesday that the money is a “cash flow” problem and does not add to the district's $5.1 million budget deficit. The district has been beset with money problems after budgeting errors that included counting almost $3 million in one-time money twice and over-expenditure of about $1 million. Board members at the meeting voted to borrow as much as $6.3 million from D.L. Evans Bank to meet daily expenses. Interim Superintendent Tom Michaelson says he hopes the bond debt is the last of the financial problems to be uncovered.

Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News has a full report here.

Nampa School District targeted in $1 million tort claim

Here's a news item from the Associated Press and the Idaho Press-Tribune: NAMPA, Idaho (AP) ― A nutrition services worker who was fired from the Nampa School District has taken the first step toward suing the district, filing a $1 million tort claim over his dismissal. The Idaho Press-Tribune (http://bit.ly/RCEdKh) reports that Todd Young filed the tort claim last month, contending he was harassed and then fired in May after he talked about waste in his department in a local television news report. In the report, Young said the school district wasn't saving money as planned because workers were discarding Styrofoam trays meant to be recycled. District officials released a statement saying that Young was fired for making racial remarks about a minority. Young is asking for no less than $1 million and his reinstatement in the job.

Nampa school district pulls ‘Like Water for Chocolate’ after parents complain

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: NAMPA, Idaho (AP) ― A school district in southwestern Idaho is removing the book “Like Water for Chocolate” from a ninth grade curriculum after some parents complained about passages including descriptions of sexual encounters. The Idaho Press-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/QvE2Bf) Nampa School Board Chairman Scott Kido received 15 emails Sunday about the book by Mexican author Laura Esquivel. Kido says he agreed the book seemed inappropriate and it will be pulled. Parent who complained called the novel a “vile piece of work” with “an immense amount of pornography.” Esquivel shot to fame in the late 1980s with the book, which has been translated from the original Spanish into numerous languages. The passionate tale of unrequited love became an international best seller and later one of the highest-grossing foreign films ever released in the United States.

Nampa school superintendent resigns

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: NAMPA, Idaho (AP) ― The superintendent of the Nampa School District has submitted a letter of resignation as the school faces an estimated $2.8 million budget shortfall. The Nampa School Board was scheduled to meet Tuesday night to discuss the matter. Trustee Dale Wheeler says portions of the meeting concerning Gary Larsen's resignation will not be open to the public. Larsen submitted his letter of resignation on Monday. In August, district officials discovered a miscalculation that resulted in a $2.8 million shortfall. District spokeswoman Allison Westfall told the Idaho Press-Tribune that Larsen's resignation is connected to the district's financial issues and that the problem may be worse than they thought. Two errors led to the shortfall ― incoming funds were overestimated and some revenue was counted twice. You can read the Press-Tribune's full report here.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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