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House passes all 7 pieces of the public school budget with no debate, few dissents

The House has passed all seven bills that make up the K-12 public schools budget, with no debate, according to Idaho EdNews. It took the House just 28 minutes to pass the school budget, which adds up to nearly $1.7 billion, a 6.3 percent increase in state general funds. Gov. Butch Otter had called for a 6.4 percent increase.

Rep. Wendy Horman, R-Idaho Falls, told the House that the school budget represents 48.8 percent of the state’s total general fund budget. The budget bills each passed with just a handful of dissenting votes.

The budget includes a 4.1 percent increase in discretionary funds to school districts to $26,748 per support unit (a support unit is roughly one classroom full of kids). It includes $62 million to fully fund the third year of the teacher “career ladder” pay improvement program; 3 percent base salary increases for administrators and classified staff who aren’t on the career ladder; a $5 million increase in classroom technology funding; and a $4.25 million increase in funding for professional development, which is a 33 percent increase.

Here’s which of the 70 representatives cast “no” votes on pieces of the public school budget:

HB 284, Administrators Division: Reps. Barbieri and Moyle

HB 285, Teachers Division: Reps. Barbieri and Harris

HB 286, Operations Division: Reps. Harris and Thompson

HB 287, Children’s Division: Rep. Barbieri

HB 288, Facilities Division: Unanimous

HB 289, Central Services Division: Reps. Moyle, Chaney, and Thompson

HB 290, Educational Services for the Deaf and Blind: Unanimous

The school budget bills now move to the Senate.

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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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