Thu., Jan. 28, 2010
Luna says he’ll ask Land Board in February
In response to a question from Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, state schools Supt. Tom Luna said the public school earnings reserve fund he wants to tap to avoid deeper school budget cuts was set up specifically to ensure payments to schools. "Remember that 10 years ago, this reserve fund didn't exist and those moneys would have gone directly to schools," Luna said, "so this $90 million wouldn't exist." Luna said he wants to take two-thirds of the money, still leaving a year's worth of payments in reserve. When Bair asked his timeline for asking the Land Board to approve the move, Luna said he'll bring it up at their February meeting. Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, said lawmakers would have to have approval by then in order to set the school budget.