Boise, Meridian get education boost

The Legislature’s budget for education is playing well in the Valley’s biggest school districts.

broberts@idahostatesman.comMarch 5, 2014 

Boise and Meridian school superintendents say they’re pleased with the 5.1 percent boost in education funding approved by the Legislature’s budget-writing committee.

Lawmakers gave tentative approval to increasing the budget $66 million statewide.

The increase includes a 1 percent pay increase for teachers and $35 million toward restoring $82.5 million in annual operational funds lost through recessionary cuts.

“I’m smiling,” said Linda Clark of the Meridian School District.

Assuming the budget passes both houses, Meridian will get about $6.6 million of the added money. About $4.1 million will go toward operational expenses such as running school buildings and providing materials. About $2.5 million will go toward the pay raise and other needs, such as additional training for instructors in teaching the new Idaho Core Standards.

Clark said the district still needs voters to renew a $14 million levy next Tuesday, March 11, to help make up for funding the Legislature hasn’t yet restored. The levy money will help pay for teachers and extra school days.

With both the new state money and the levy, the district will be able to stay intact next year and add more training, Clark said.

The Boise School District hasn’t estimated the amount it could receive. Priorities for the money will be to keep class sizes down as the district grows. Boise increased by 550 students this year, for a total enrollment of 26,100.

“We feel really good the effort the Legislature made,” said Superintendent Don Coberly.

Bill Roberts: 377-6408

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service