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D91 seeks public opinion to address the school district’s budget

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Idaho Falls School District 91 is looking for public input to address its budget.

On Monday, March 11, the district will host a meeting for teachers, staff, parents, and patrons to voice their opinions. The meeting will begin with a short overview of the district’s budget. After the overview, you can work with a group to recommend spending reductions and district priorities.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Taylorview Middle School cafeteria. The school district aims to be transparent throughout the process as they prepare the upcoming school year's budget.

"We want a lot of public input for that and we value that. We know that our patrons, our teachers, and our staff see the day-to-day workings at school and can share ideas with us on how they think we can best serve kids and use the resources we have," said Karla LaOrange the superintendent of Idaho Falls School District 91.

"I'm excited with the turnout. I think the budget is really important to our district and it's great to have input from as many people as we can when we're looking at making changes," said Hillary Radcliffe the chair of the district's school board.

The previous year's budget for the school district went over by nearly $4 million. To balance the budget for the upcoming year, the district says they may need to make cuts of a least $4 Million.

But Superintendent LaOrange says Staff should be protected for now.

"From the beginning when we started this process, we said that we would be using attrition and trying to address any staffing changes that need to be made through attrition and that we would also give priority to the people who work within the district to to apply for other positions if needed. But we are going to be working hard to use attrition. And if we have a typical year, that is that's doable," LaOrange said.

Recently the state has reverted the way they fund schools to how they were pre-pandemic. This means that school districts are being funded thanks to the attendance of their students. Currently, Idaho Falls School District 91 is around 92% of Student attendance. How will the district make up the difference?

"The first step is, the school board wants input from the community, knowing what are the important things, what are the things that they don't want to be touched, What are the things that they think might be, you know, okay, to cut to what level," Radcliffe said.

One teacher I spoke with tonight says she's thankful to be a part of the process, but has one hope for how things will turn out.

"I would hope that we protect the classroom unit, right? What the teacher's doing in that classroom to help students learn and help students grow and move further? That's what I want to see protected out of this," Jessi Donnelly a teacher at Skyline High School said.

One parent I spoke with expressed gratitude for collaborating with the district on the matter.

"To talk to the teachers and paraprofessionals and parents and to see all the different perspectives and collaborate as a group to make the best decision for our students," Kallie Hillam said.

The district will host another meeting on March 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Skyline High School cafeteria.

If you can't attend in person you can provide your input via Thought Exchange, a digital input platform you can use from any device. The link will be available starting March 25.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.


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