Idaho House freezes teacher pay, cut retirement perk - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho House freezes teacher pay, cut retirement perk

BOISE, Idaho. - House lawmakers voted 49-20 to cut $8.1 million from public education funding by freezing automatic experience-based salary increases and phasing out an early retirement incentive for teachers.

Teachers wouldn't advance on the salary grid, despite adding another year of experience, according to the bill, which also would cut in half an early-retirement incentive for teachers over 55.

It follows a measure that passed the House a day earlier on a virtually identical vote to cut $4.2 million from state bus funding.

Democrats argued Thursday's bill, which now faces scrutiny in the House, will expose Idaho to lawsuits from the teachers union because freezing the grid for even one year could lower teachers' retirement pay.

Republicans said it's needed to meet a balanced state budget.

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