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Eye On Boise

Thu., Jan. 23, 2014, 4:48 p.m.

Idaho looking at ‘slow road back’ to restoring school funding

Here’s a link to my full story at spokesman.com on today’s public school budget hearing; Idaho’s schools, hard-hit by budget cuts during years of economic downturn, would see a 5.1 percent boost in funding next year, under a budget plan pitched to lawmakers Thursday by state schools chief Tom Luna. Luna’s proposed $66.9 million increase for schools is well above the 2.9 percent, $37 million increase Gov. Butch Otter has recommended. And unlike Otter, Luna’s calling for modest raises for teachers next year – Otter recommended none.

“He laid out a blueprint that will give us something to work with,” said Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, co-chairman of the Legislature’s joint budget committee. Said Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, the House co-chair of the panel, “It’s a slow road back.” Even with the increase, Luna’s $1.37 billion proposed budget for Idaho schools for next year falls below the 2009 level of $1.42 billion – it’s $50.8 million less.




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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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