Boise and Meridian school superintendents say theyre pleased with the 5.1 percent boost in education funding approved by the Legislatures 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.
Im 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 hasnt 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 hasnt 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