Otter signs four K-12 budgets

It’s at least semi-official.

Otter Presser
Gov. Butch Otter speaks at a Monday news conference recapping the 2016 legislative session.

Gov. Butch Otter signed four of the seven K-12 budget bills into law Monday.

Here’s what he signed:

  • The biggest of the seven budgets, a $840.7 million teachers’ division budget. This includes funding for the second year of the teacher career ladder.
  • The administration division budget, an $86.8 million bill that includes a 3 percent raise for administrators.
  • The $19 million facilities division budget.
  • The $9.8 million budget for educational services for the deaf and blind.

Otter still hasn’t acted on three budget bills, including a $570.7 million operations budget. This budget includes a boost in schools’ “discretionary spending,” bringing this line item back to pre-recession levels of $25,696 per classroom.

“I wouldn’t read anything into the fact he has not taken action on this legislation,” Otter spokesman Jon Hanian said Wednesday. “He takes action on them as he gets them and the pile is still deep.”

The budget bills went to Otter’s desk on March 25, the final day of the 2016 session. He has until April 5 to act on bills.

It would appear that it’s only a matter of time before they’re signed into law as well. During a news conference Monday, Otter praised the K-12 budgets in general, and touted the boost in discretionary spending in particular.

All seven budgets passed the Legislature overwhelmingly.