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A stark choice on school cuts…

Idaho faces a stark choice: Impose unprecedented budget cuts on public schools next year, or stave off those cuts but risk deeper ones the following year. "I think it depends on how big a gambler you are, and I'm pretty pessimistic," said Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, vice-chairwoman of the Legislature's joint budget committee. Here's the problem: There's enough money, between the stimulus money that's due to start arriving in Idaho within the next 40 days and the state's special school reserve fund, to protect schools from all the cuts imposed in the state budget this year, and from all the cuts now proposed for next year. But if 2011 were another down year, there wouldn't be enough left from either source to avoid cuts that year. "We have no indication that 2011 will be any better - it may be worse than 2010," said Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert. You can read my full story here at

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.