More bad news for Nampa: a lawsuit

Voters in the deficit-riddled Nampa School District approved a $4.3 million supplemental levy on March 12. Since then, things for the district have gone from bad to worse.

First, the district announced plans to close Sunny Ridge Elementary School. The cost-cutting move was announced only three days after the levy’s passage, when school officials disclosed that the district’s deficit was not $4.3 million, but $5.1 million.

Then, on March 25, the Nampa Education Association filed a lawsuit against the district, alleging that teachers were “pressured” to take four unpaid furlough days — as an addendum to their 2012-13 contracts. The Idaho Education Association is representing the local union.

According to the Idaho Press-Tribune, the NEA said it filed suit after several unsuccessful attempts to discuss the financial situation with district officials.

The district, meanwhile, points out that more than 60 percent of teachers signed up for the furloughs.

“It’s clear that the association is out of touch with our teachers as nearly 60 percent voluntarily signed up for furlough days, supporting our effort restore financial stability,” Interim Superintendent Thomas Michaelson said Tuesday, according to the Idaho Statesman. “I am disappointed that rather than come up with solutions, the NEA’s approach has been to discourage teachers from volunteering and to force the district to spend money it doesn’t have on legal fees and court costs.”