West Ada approves 7.5% budget increase for next school year

The West Ada school board approved a $328.6 million general budget for the 2023-2024 school year during its Monday regular meeting, a 7.5% increase from the year before.

While the budget is up $23 million, projected spending reflects an estimated $18 million funding loss since Idaho will move from enrollment-based to attendance-based funding. The district is expecting about 500 new students next year.

The district is still planning around the rejected 10-year, $500 million plant facilities levy proposal. School facilities will require temporary adjustments due to deterioration and overcrowding, especially at the elementary school level.

“With less funding because of the plant facilities levy that was not passed, we’re using the money we do have to readjust for classrooms going forward,” West Ada Director of Education Services Dave Reinhart told trustees.

Dave Reinhart, West Ada director of education services
Dave Reinhart, West Ada director of education services.

The district’s facilities team plans to complete a few active projects funded by a 2017 plant facilities levy in the summer and fall — as opposed to fulfilling its grand 2023 levy plans.

A number of planned parking lot rehabilitations are now rescinded and only Crossroads Middle School will receive upgrades to its asphalt. Meridian High gym will be the only aging roof replaced. Out of 32 elementary schools, only Mary McPherson and Meridian elementary schools will be refurbished. Centennial High will be able to continue its horticulture program with construction of a greenhouse.

West Ada also will continue to update to 21st technology in each classroom with the addition of audio and visual equipment across the district.

In order to alleviate overcrowding at its growing schools, the facilities team will be adding pre-owned portable classrooms to Star, Hillsdale and Pleasant View elementary schools.

West Ada will continue contracted projects from the 2017 levy. These include bathroom renovations at Meridian Elementary and at Meridian and Centennial highs, the postponed Owyhee High School stadium construction and an upgraded playground at Seven Oaks Elementary. Upgrades at Prospect and Chaparral are now canceled as is the tennis court restoration at Lewis and Clark Middle School.

Here are funding highlights from the state:

  • $35,000 increase in college and career curriculum.
  • $135,000 increase in overall content and curriculum development.
  • $98,000 shortfall in gifted and talented funds.
  • $700,000 increase in technology funding.
  • $86,000 increase in math and science funding.
  • $600,000 reduction in facilities funding.

Here are funding highlights from the federal government:

  • $742,000 (anticipated) increase in Title I funding.
  • $420,000 increase in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funding.
  • $878,000 loss in stimulus funds.

Here are other funding highlights:

  • A $2.7 million rise in investment income.
  • Continued stimulus funding to fund new textbook adoption, 21st century classroom, staffing and other operational costs.
  • An increase in discretionary insurance costs, state benefit apportionment and PERSI rates for teachers.
Matt Denis

Matt Denis

Reporter Matt Denis is based in the Treasure Valley and has served as an educator and a journalist. Prior to national digital reporting and founding an arts and culture section in Eugene, Oregon, Matt worked as an English and history teacher in Detroit, San Diego, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can send news tips to [email protected].

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