Advertise Here

Eye On Boise

Opponents of school budget call for more flexibility for districts

Sen. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, also debated against HB 323, the public schools budget, saying he opposed the $21 million for merit bonuses and professional development, and instead thought that money should go to discretionary funding for school districts. “I just think we should properly fund the schools,” Patrick said. “The first place we’ve got to restore is in this discretionary funding. … Let’s just keep the lights on and put the money where it should be.”

Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, who cast one of five votes against the budget in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, said school districts are suffering financially. “They’re seeing large increases in … utility costs. … Their budgets are at the very, very bottom,” he said. He said with the current funding crunch, “Our districts need flexibility.” Mortimer said he believes the technology pilot projects and the locally directed teacher merit bonuses included in the budget overstep the bounds of the budget committee.

Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, said, “I don’t think this budget has enough money for discretionary. So if we pay the teachers, but we have to RIF (reduction in force, or lay off) some teachers in order to free up some money for discretionary, that doesn’t seem to make sense. … I’m a proponent of starting over on this bill.”

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Eye On Boise

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

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

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Eye On Boise.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here