The Idaho Freedom Foundation has filed a lawsuit against the Boise School District regarding funding of its union president position.
According to the legal complaint, in May 2015, the Boise School District approved a contract with the Boise Education Association for 2015-16. The contract requires the district to pay $35,932 towards the salary and benefits of the association president, and allows for paid leave for members to attend Idaho Education Association conferences. The lawsuit says the contract violates the Idaho State Constitution, which prevents school boards and other government entities from “making payments to private associations that allow private interests to gain advantages at the expense of the taxpayers.”
The lawsuit comes amid continued discussion over public school funding in Idaho, which has seen an increased reliance on local control with levy dependence in recent years. On Wednesday, Superintendent Sherri Ybarra unveiled her public schools budget request for fiscal year 2017. That request includes a $110 million increase, with a bump in discretionary funding for local school districts.
For more coverage on local school funding issues statewide, head to Idaho Education News. In Twin Falls, trustees recently approved an emergency levy request for $1.3 million, which Superintendent Wiley Dobbs said is necessary to cover a 9.9 percent jump in student growth; that request is due to the State Board of Education by Sept. 8. And in late August, voters across the state approved millions in levies for Mountain Home, Troy and Middleton.
Idaho Reports has put in requests for comment from the Boise School District and Idaho Freedom Foundation. We’ll update when we hear back.