Eye On Boise

Cameron: If voters reject school reforms, lawmakers would still put the $$ toward education

I quizzed JFAC Co-Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, today about the what-if question I explored in my Sunday column: What happens if voters in November reject Propositions 1, 2 and 3, repealing state Superintendent Tom Luna’s Students Come First school reform laws, which already are in the process of being phased in?

A rejection of the three referenda would leave roughly $33 million sitting appropriated but unallocated in the public school budget for the current year; if lawmakers took no action during their 2013 session, it'd flow into the state's Public Education Stabilization Fund at the end of the school year. "I think we're still trying to get our arms around what would happen with the funds," Cameron said. "The Legislature's going to act one way or the other, and we're going to appropriate the funds one way or another." He added, "I think JFAC and the Legislature would certainly address it. Putting the funds toward salaries is very plausible, particularly the money that was allocated for pay for performance." Other portions could go to discretionary funding for school districts, he said. "To me, those would be reasonable expectations."

Cameron added, "I know the Legislature's not going to sit back and say ... this money isn't going to be allocated towards education. It's going to be applied to education in a way that's appropriate."

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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