Legislative budget analyst Paul Headlee started things off by reviewing the budget. “The public schools request was a 5.4 percent increase, and the governor’s recommendation is a 5.3 percent decrease, so that really indicates how fast the financial situation has changed,” Headlee told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. He also noted that to his knowledge, it’s the first time Idaho’s ever considered setting a lower budget for schools than the schools received this year. He also reviewed what other states are doing; New York, for example, is looking at cuts of from 3 to 13 percent. Some states are looking at eliminating summer school, textbook purchases, shortening the school year, and using reserve funds.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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