Idaho lawmakers pass $100.3 million school funding proposal - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho lawmakers pass $100.3 million school funding proposal

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The Senate unanimously approved the budget proposal on Wednesday after it cleared the House. The Senate unanimously approved the budget proposal on Wednesday after it cleared the House.
BOISE, Idaho -

Idaho's public schools funding proposal for 2016-2017 is headed to Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter's desk after being unanimously passed by lawmakers.

The proposal includes a 6.8 percent overall increase - totaling $100.3 million. Including other components that have been passed by the House and Senate, the total increase sits at 7.4 percent higher than last year.

According to IdahoEdNews.Org, a few highlights from the budget include:

  • A $41.5 million boost in teacher salaries, which aims to attract experienced teachers to Idaho schools
  • A $27.3 million increase for "discretionary spending" - districts will receive $25,696 per classroom
  • A 3-percent pay raise for administrators and classified staff 
  • A $16.6 million increase in "leadership premiums" - bonuses for teachers who go above and beyond 
  • A $5 million boost in classroom technology improvements.

The Associated Press has reported that Governor Otter is disappointed with the budget, which falls short of his proposed 7.9 percent funding increase. However, Otter hasn't given any indication that he would be considering a veto.

Otter will ultimately have the final word on the budget proposal, which is now headed to his desk.

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