5/14 - Daily Update - Budget, Fall Planning

Boise School District 

Daily Update


We know it is almost impossible to keep up with the latest developments as our community responds to COVID-19. Each of these items below are evolving rapidly, and there are many details to be worked out. Please bear with us as we continue to work through these challenging times. 

Budget Update

As we plan for the future, we are beginning to develop a deeper understanding of both the short and long-term impact the COVID-19 crisis will have on the District’s budget. We’ve included a brief snapshot of the factors we are considering as we develop our budget for the 2020 - 21 school year:

  • The Governor’s order of a 1% budget holdback in 2019 - 20 state funding for K-12 has already reduced funding to Boise School District by $1.45 million

  • The Governor has announced that he will request an additional 5% holdback for K-12 for the 2020 - 21 school year. Boise School District will lose an estimated $7.3 million under a 5% holdback.

  • This estimate does not include reduced state funding ($500,000) due to limited alternative school enrollments for summer 2020 or a reduction in interest earnings ($750,000). 

  • While some relief will come from Federal coronavirus spending (CARES Act) in the amount of $3.8 million, the majority of these funds will be earmarked to cover costs associated with providing online education and meeting the needs of our special populations.

  • There is also uncertainty regarding a possible decline in Fall enrollment due to individual family decisions to keep students out over concerns of COVID-19.

    • Prior to the Coronavirus crisis, the Boise School District projected an estimated drop of 300 students in enrollment for 2020 - 21.

Bond Projects

Due to current and future concerns over significant cuts to our budget, we will pause all pre-bid capital projects, including the expansion and remodels slated for Longfellow, Collister and Roosevelt Elementary schools, as well as the construction of a new school in Harris Ranch. While we have been able to cover some rising construction costs from our General Fund budget, we cannot assume those dollars will be there as we plan for the future. 

Fall Planning

Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers for the 2020 - 2021 school year. We are monitoring the guidance provided by the Idaho State Board of Education and Central District Health. At this point, our expectation is that our schools will open, as scheduled, in August. While we will offer a safe in-person school experience, we do know it will look differently than how our schools operated prior to COVID-19. Here’s what we are doing right now:

  • In an attempt to develop a more accurate picture of parent expectations, we will conduct a survey of parents prior to the end of this academic year to solicit input on day-to-day learning options, school environment, as well as overall concerns.

  • We will offer a deeper, richer and more interactive online learning experience for students who cannot physically return to school and those families who choose not to have their children participate in traditional school due to COVID-19. A team of teachers, content supervisors, principals and District Administrators are working to develop our online learning program.

  • In anticipation of the need for a more robust online educational experience, as well as the need for either short or long-term closures due to major outbreak or student/staff infection, the District will roll-out a One-to-One device plan for the Fall.

  • At this point, we are considering multiple strategies to comply with social distancing guidelines and still be able to provide an environment favorable to learning. Some options, such as staggered or alternate day attendance schedules, may create more issues for families than they solve. Put simply, there is no magic bullet.  

Additional Items of Note

  • May Primary/School Levies

For the first time ever, the State of Idaho will conduct a mail-only vote for the May 19, 2020 Primary Election. For more information, please visit IdahoVotes.gov

In addition to the usual candidate primary races, a number of school districts, including our neighbors, West Ada and Mountain Home are requesting supplemental levies. Please do not forget to vote this May.

  • Complete U.S. Census

Did you know that an accurate Census count helps support our students and education programs? From preschool programs up to universities, the 2020 Census will have an impact on the funding that our education systems receive. It’s up to you, and all of us, to be counted. Please complete the 2020 Census. Learn more at: www.treasurevalleycensus.com.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through the many challenges related to the coronavirus crisis. Your support of our students and families has been a true bright spot in what has been a difficult time for our community. Please stay safe and stay well.

Boise School District Administration