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Eye On Boise

Luna to lawmakers: ‘Tech is not a silver bullet,’ but must be funded, ‘like a utility’

In his newly revised public school budget request for next year, state schools Superintendent Tom Luna is proposing $1.31 million in state general funds, a 3 percent increase from this year; and $1.6 billion in total funds, a 2.6 percent increase from this year. He’s requesting $5.8 million to accommodate growth in student enrollment; $4.85 million to continue this year’s push to add math and science instructors; a $300,000 increase for school administrator evaluations; $250,000 for dual-credit classes for high school students; continuing to pay for the SAT for all high school grads; and $10.4 million for classroom technology.

“In the 21stcentury classroom, technology is not a silver bullet or an end-all, be-all,” Luna told JFAC. “It’s also not a one-time capital expenditure. We need to treat technology like a utility.”

 He’s also proposing $2.5 million for district information technology staffing; $3.7 million for professional development related to Idaho core standards, $150,000 for a safe schools task force; $10 million for facilities; and a 1.5 percent increase in discretionary funding for school districts. The governor’s budget proposal didn’t include any increase in discretionary funding.

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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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