Boise, Idaho – (Release from Idaho Governor’s Office) Governor Brad Little commented today on the passage of his K-12 budget recommendation in the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee this morning.
“THANK YOU to JFAC for your support of our public schools this morning! You put Idaho students and families first by approving increased pay for teachers and classified staff across the board. We’re making the teaching profession in Idaho more competitive and rewarding, which keeps great teachers in the classroom to help our students achieve.
“Last September, we secured historic investments in public schools and workforce training while cutting taxes, and 80-percent of Idaho voters approved the move. This is a ‘promises made, promises kept’ moment, and I am proud of my legislative partners for putting IDAHO FIRST.”
Last year, Governor Little and the Legislature set aside $330 million for public schools during the 2022 Extraordinary Session in September. Idaho voters approved this act with an 80-percent majority. The Governor’s budget and JFAC action fulfills this historic commitment to education by:
- Targeting starting teacher pay to Top 10 nationally ($47,477), up from #41 nationally when Governor Little took office.
- Strengthening pay for all teachers – including our most experienced educators — by $6,359. In total, this adds $145 million for enhanced teacher pay statewide.
- Closing the salary gap that schools face for classified staff by providing $97.4 million to better position schools to hire critical support staff such as cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and paraprofessionals.
- Continuing the state’s commitment to raising take-home pay of teachers and school staff by providing an additional $27.9 million for health insurance benefits.
- Providing $48.8 million for the largest single-year boost of discretionary funding to schools in state history, allowing local schools to meet local needs and defray reliance on property taxes.
- Putting forward $2.9 million in ongoing funding to improve dyslexia outcomes throughout the state through training and outreach.
- Making permanent the widely popular Empowering Parents grants by investing $30 million to continue helping families take charge of education expenses for their children outside the classroom.
- Providing $20 million in one-time grants for the Securing Our Future Initiative from the Office of School Safety and Security. Funds will be used to make meaningful, durable, and demonstrated effective investments in K-12 school facility security throughout the state.
The budget recommendation now moves to both the House and Senate for final approval.