The Senate has begun its debate on HB 323, the public schools budget – the single largest slice of the state’s general fund budget. “This is not a perfect budget by anyone’s imagination or stretch, but it is a good budget,” Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, told the Senate. “It’s not as good a budget as we had in 2008 or 2009, but it’s as good a budget as we’ve seen in a while.” He said, “We are in this unique position, caught between the policies and ideas of the past and the desire to improve our educational system and move forward. The budget that is before you is a compromise budget, a bipartisan budget and a balanced approach.”
Cameron said the budget is supported by “all the stakeholders,” including state schools Superintendent Tom Luna; the Idaho School Boards Association; the Idaho Association of School Administrators; and the Idaho Education Association. Still, he said, “It is still about $110 million below where we were in 2009.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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