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Eye On Boise

Luna’s plan for next year’s school budget…

Here’s Luna’s proposal: Take $3.3 million from the state Department of Education’s driver training account, $2.2 million from the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Account, and $52.8 million from the public school earnings reserve fund of the state endowment, for a total of $58.3 million in one-time boosts to the school budget. Then, cut $25.2 million through six specific cuts in the budget: $6.1 million from freezing experience movement on the teacher salary grid for a second year; $2 million from eliminating an early retirement incentive program; $1.4 million from cutting funding for transportation for field trips; $1.6 million from reducing classroom supplies funding from $300 per teacher per year to $200; $5 million from eliminating the 99 percent average daily attendance protection for school districts; and $9.1 million from technology and textbooks, giving districts the flexibility to spend remaining funds on either. He’s also proposing a 3.74 percent across-the-board cut in a long series of budget line items - everything from state-paid salaries and benefits to transportation, the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, the Idaho Reading Initiative, gifted and talented education, and more. That would save another $51 million.

Total reductions in the school budget: $135 million. “What we’re asking teachers and administrators and all adults is to sacrifice a little bit more for a little while more … for our children,” Luna said.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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