Public school budgets face 7.5 percent cut in 2011 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Public school budgets face 7.5 percent cut in 2011

BOISE, Idaho. - Idaho schools will likely make do with 7.5 percent less in total funding next year, according to a plan that includes reducing salaries for first-year teachers.
     
The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee aims to give schools $128 million less in fiscal year 2011 than they're getting this year from all funding sources. State general fund spending is due to drop 1.4 percent, to $1.21 billion.
     
Budget writers originally aimed to set the schools' spending plan Monday, but opted to give House and Senate lawmakers until Wednesday to review their proposal.
     
It includes cutting Idaho's minimum teacher salary to $29,655; suspending pay hikes based on experience and education; and dumping early retirement for a year.
     
Rep. Maxine Bell, a budget panel co-chair, calls the budget a "hard pill to swallow" but unavoidable.

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