A report released today by the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy questions whether the state is meeting its constitutional duty to “maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.” The report is authored by the center’s director Mike Ferguson, who was also Idaho’s chief economist for 25 years. “One of the things I wanted to draw attention to is that unlike most state programs, public school funding is enshrined in the state constitution, it is basically different,” Ferguson says. More here. Findings:
- Public school funding has significantly decreased over the last 13 years.
- Tax cuts and increased funding of Medicaid have been the two biggest reasons why education funding has declined.
- Because of property tax differences and local levy options, school districts are not being funded equally, as required by the state constitution.