Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Kuna school district wants to be more open to the public

Kuna school board members held a workshop last week to discuss the district’s finances and their potential impact on education.
First of all, let me give a big kudos to the Kuna school district for making a wise decision to save its $1 million in additional funds from the state, announced last week. I have been reading stories about other area school districts immediately deciding to get rid of furlough days and put money back into the 2011-12 budget. Kuna, meanwhile, has rightly moved that money to 2012-13.
Still, according to figures presented by district business manager Bryan Fletcher, even with the extra $1 million in 2012-13, the district anticipates coming up short $900,000, or the equivalent of another 20 teachers, on top of the 10 teachers cut this year. So more kudos to the Kuna school district and superintendent Jay Hummel for starting a process very early in an attempt to engage the public and come up with solutions at a time when it appears school districts all around Idaho can expect ever-decreasing money from the state.
One of the common threads from last week’s workshop was a desire to get the community more involved. Board members divided into groups and to a group, each one said that getting the public involved was vital. So I will offer here ways that the district can do a better job of engaging the public and, as board member Carl Ericson put it, “make this a community organization.”
Get the board packets online.
Explain the budget.
Use what's already available.
Go TO the public.

You can read the details of these suggestions in this week's Editor's Notebook.

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