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Eye On Boise

Fri., March 22, 2013, 8:42 a.m.

House takes up public school budget: Despite small increase, still below 2009 level

“This budget represents an important step in the process of restoring and moving Idaho education forward,” said Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Idaho Falls. It reflects a 2.2 percent increase in state funding , above the governor’s recommended 2 percent but below state schools Superintendent Tom Luna’s 3 percent request.

Thompson noted that while the budget includes a small increase in the minimum teacher salary and restores previously frozen steps on the teacher salary schedule, teacher salary funds appropriated in the budget are “still 5 percent below the amount appropriated in 2009.” The total general-fund budget, he said, is “still $110 million below where the fiscal year 2009 appropriation was.” The budget does include $21 million in one-time funds for teacher merit bonuses and professional development at local school district discretion; and provides a boost in technology funds to school districts.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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