To start off the budget hearing this morning on Idaho’s K-12 school budget, legislative budget analyst Paul Headlee is presenting information on how other states are coping with education funding. “Likely more than 70 percent of the states have taken some actions to reduce their education budgets, both K-12 and higher education,” Headlee told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. Furloughs, cuts in funding for textbooks and school supplies, and tuition and fee hikes are among the measures other states have taken, he said. As Idaho faces its budget crunch, Headlee said, “Most states are in the same or similar situation.” Gov. Butch Otter is proposing a reduction of 1.2 percent in state general funds for schools next year, and 7.7 percent in overall funding. It would result in a 6.5 percent decrease in discretionary funds per support unit to school districts.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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