Nampa district hit with another lawsuit

A former employee is suing the Nampa School District, claiming she was fired after questioning the way the cash-strapped district handled federal funds.

Dianna “DeeDee” Ruettgers, a former budget analyst for the district, claims she was wrongfully fired for insubordination. Ruettgers said she was fired in December, amidst the district’s growing financial crisis, after questioning the use of money for Title I, a federal program for disadvantaged students.

According to the Idaho Press-Tribune, Ruettgers alerted state officials to the compliance issues. The state withheld more than $5 million of the district’s federal funds.

Pete Koehler, promoted in May to interim district superintendent, is named as one of the defendants.

According to the Press-Tribune’s article, “Ruettgers alleges Koehler ‘did not want to go through preapprovals and did not want to be told how to spend the money from the Title I funds,’ and that the district was using the funding for paraprofessionals as substitutes in classrooms rather than using it to work with Title I students as intended.”

The district declined comment on the lawsuit.

The Nampa district already faces a separate lawsuit from the Nampa Education Association, which alleges teachers were pressured to take voluntary furlough days in 2012-13.

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For more on Ruettgers’ suit, here’s a story from KBOI-TV.