The Kuna school board will meet at 5 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, July 12, for a budget workshop before the regular board meeting at 7 p.m.
Kuna schools superintendent Jay Hummel wants to get this process started as early as possible for the 2012-13 budget, as more drastic cuts are in the offing.
School board members have already approved next year's budget with some cuts, including the elimination of 10 teachers. Hummel has said that with more reductions in education spending in the coming years, the community is going to have to have a very serious discussion about what we want our schools to be. The Kuna school district, like other districts around the state, will be faced with new mandates associated with the state's new "Students Come First" legislation, which established a host of changes in the education system, including diverting money for teacher salaries toward the purchase of technology, such as mobile computing devices for teachers and students. In addition, there will be some requirements for online classes, which promises to divert even more money out of district coffers and into the budgets of online providers.
With those mandates on the horizon, the Kuna school district has put forth some pretty scary budget numbers for 2012 and beyond.
I applaud the Kuna school district for launching this effort tonight. This is a great first step.
I have always questioned the apparent lack of involvement of the Kuna school board in the budgeting processed and I have criticized the administration for not providing more details. So it is my sincere hope that tonight's budget workshop gives the Kuna school board — and the public — a better handle on how the district spends its money. I can't stress enough how important that is in trying to formulate budgets in tough economic times.
Now, if we can only get the school district to post its school board packets online......