Board Seeks 8% Increase For Colleges $191.9 Million Request Follows Cut In State Spending This Year

The state Board of Education will ask Idaho lawmakers to increase support for Idaho’s three universities and Lewis-Clark State College by almost 8 percent next year.

With the state’s financial condition tightening, the board scaled back the schools’ budget requests from $203.7 million to about $191.9 million before adopting its request on Thursday.

Two days earlier, Gov. Phil Batt imposed a 2.5 percent across-the-board cutback on state spending for the budget year that began July 1. That would be $4.45 million of the $178 million college and university appropriation for this year.

Information about how each school would fare under the board’s budget request for the year that begins next July 1 was not available. The original budget requests reflected a 14.4 percent hike over existing funding levels.

As part of its budget request, the board is seeking $802,000 for the University of Idaho to improve general programs.

The board is asking for a 13.7 percent increase in state support to $35.8 million for vocational education programs and a 9.7 percent increase to $12.4 million for the state’s two community colleges.

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