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Eye On Boise

Charter facilities debate: ‘We just give them free money,’ ‘A huge help in paying their mortgage’

In the debate on HB 206a, the charter school facilities funding bill:

Sen. Branden Durst, D-Boise, said, “We’re talking about taking money out of the general fund. … They actually set up a parallel system rather than integrating systems together. … We’re making new statutory spending … we just give them free money.”

Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, said, “We fund traditional schools as if they were a Chevy Malibu. We fund charters as if they were a Chevy Nova. It’s less money.” He said there’s a charter school in his district that’s among the top high schools in the nation, and it’s “slowly depleting its reserve trying to make every dollar stretch. … $34,000 would be a huge help in paying their mortgage.”

Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, said, “I have an issue and a concern that we are now embarking down a road where we are admitting that we are going to pay for facilities. … Right or wrong, it’s been the public policy of this state that the state would not provide facilities.”

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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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