Luna seeks 3% hike for education budget - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Luna seeks 3% hike for education budget

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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:57 am

BOISE – Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna recommended a 3 percent, or $37.9 million, increase for Idaho’s public schools today during his presentation to the Legislature’s budget-setting committee.

Each year, Superintendent Luna provides his ideas and recommendations for the public schools budget for the upcoming fiscal year to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC). This year, Superintendent Luna also provided recommendations on how the Legislature should handle the remainder of the current fiscal year 2013 appropriation for Idaho schools.

He recommended the Legislature provide funding to school districts through fiscal year 2013 as originally appropriated last year.

“Districts set budgets, signed contracts, and made commitments based on the original fiscal year 2013 appropriation. Teachers engaged in expected professional development to implement new tools in the classroom. It’s important and necessary that districts receive the money they were expecting and that educators continue to receive the professional development that they planned for and need,” Superintendent Luna told members of JFAC on Thursday.

For fiscal year 2014, which begins July 1 and covers the 2013-14 school year, Superintendent Luna has proposed a 3 percent increase in general funds. This increase will be used to restore the 1.67% shift in teacher salaries, raise the minimum teacher salary, restore a historical line item for classroom technology, provide professional development as Idaho teachers begin to implement higher academic standards, fund more math and science teachers, and continue to offer dual credit opportunities for high school students.

Superintendent Luna also committed to working with the Idaho Legislature and Task Force for Improving Education, recently created by the State Board of Education, to develop a new differentiated compensation plan for Idaho’s teachers to ensure that more than $30 million in state funding – a historic increase in teacher pay last year – remains in teacher compensation.

“I am convinced the only way we can continue to see this unprecedented amount of funding go toward teacher compensation is if the state develops a form of differentiated compensation for Idaho’s educators – similar to what other professions have in place today. I understand this plan will look different than the plan that stakeholders crafted in 2009 and that the state implemented last year,” Superintendent Luna said. “I am committed to working with the members of the Task Force for Improving Education and this Idaho Legislature so that together we can ensure every penny continues to go to Idaho’s teachers and educators, not only this year but next year and in the future.”

Here are the highlights of Superintendent Luna’s request for the FY2014 Public Schools Budget:

· 3 percent, or $37.9 million, increase in General Funds for public schools

· 1.67% to restore the shift in funding for teacher salaries

· Raise the minimum teacher salary to $31,000

· 1.5% increase in discretionary funds for local school districts and public charter schools

· 2% increase in pupil transportation funds

· $10.4 million to restore a historic line item for classroom technology for school districts

· $3.7 million to fund professional development as Idaho teachers implement higher academic standards

· $4.8 million to continue funding for more math and science teachers

· $7.7 million to follow through on the state’s commitment to operate the statewide instructional management system, known as Schoolnet, and provide professional development opportunities for Idaho teachers on how to integrate this system in the classroom

· $10 million to begin a two-year phase-in to restore school facilities and maintenance funding

· $250,000 to continue the Dual Credit for Early Completers Program

· $150,000 to reconvene the Safe Schools Task Force that will take a renewed look at school safety in Idaho

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • will-- posted at 9:53 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    will-- Posts: 1093


    Like all other veterans, you earned the perks.

    Thanks for your service!

  • bionic man posted at 4:25 pm on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    wilbur....I'll lower myself to your level for once....( I'm used to it with people of your mentality.) Yes, I used those " perks " after I got out of the hospital and got my discharge. And the reason of things being done in "the good ol'e US of A" as you put it is because of people like me that stood up for your rights.

    Thank God for people like me, otherwise your comment might get you an extra lead weight added to your body weight

    VETRANS BEWARE of "wilbur"

  • concernedcitizen posted at 2:05 pm on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    bionic man is, for the most part, correct. The admin is WAY top heavy in the SD 271. Fire the assistant admin and move two of the three full time office help to part time. Quit using tax funded government jobs of ALL kinds as job security. THEN, use that money to PAY the teachers what they deserve.

  • wilbur posted at 8:51 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    wilbur Posts: 142

    So, being a military man, you weren't being paid on the "backs of taxpayers" ? What a hypocrite, I bet you used some of those "perks" given to those who served, as well. If you don't like the way things are done in the good ol' US of A, move....

  • bionic man posted at 5:30 pm on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    Vox, your problem like others, you think the levies pay for your kids! Fact is, we all get stuck with paying for benefits and raised salaries of those in the upper class ad nothing goes to the kids. Another problem, you, like others, think that because you have a bunch of kids, everyone should pay for their education. I'm a firm believer, you pay for what you get. You as a parent are depending on your kids education on the backs of the taxpayer. I for one am sick and tired of paying for someone else's kids and the corruption in the school districts.
    Oh and by the way..I've worked since I was 8 years old. Got my education through the facts of life, the military and everything else for what " I " paid for. Got my MEE on my own with no assistance, unless you consider what was given to me in Nam.
    If you want the pay for it. Stop taking money out of my pocket to support your sperm count.

  • voxpop posted at 11:36 am on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    It all sounds good until you realize that Goedde and his pals have no intention of putting another nickel into public education. The Cda school district currently makes up nearly 25% of it's budget with taxes from local property owners, via override levies. If the next levy were to fail and not be replaced it would cause the district to implode. 40 student classrooms, no sports or clubs, and massive layoffs would happen immediately. It shouldn't be that way and Goedde knows it full well. Override levies should be for the extras not the basics which is how things are now because legislators have abdicated their statutory responsibilities. But it's ok now because there's a bill flying through Boise which will make it nearly impossible for voter initiatives to come up for a vote. At that point the Boise banana republicans can shove their hopes and dreams down our throat.

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