Otter endorses task force recommendations

Gov. Butch Otter says he supports the 21 recommendations of his education reform task force — though he says the changes will take time.

Responding to questions at a Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Otter said the task force proposals met all of his expectations.

“We know it’s going to be roughly 350 million bucks,” said Otter, according to Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review. “We … know we can’t do that in one year, we can’t do that in two years, or maybe three years. But what we can do is set ourselves on a course that we accomplish so much each year, and … four or five years out, we’ve accomplished the entire package.”

The package includes a teacher salary ladder that could cost $253 million over six years; restoring $82.5 million in school operations budgets over five years; and switching to an enrollment-based funding model, a move that could cost $60 million.

Otter said he discussed the plan with legislative leaders Tuesday morning, Russell reports. The task force endorsed the recommendations Friday.

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