Because state officials consider school construction and maintenance a local responsibility, they’ve gotten careless with Idaho’s 46 million square feet of school buildings.
There are two big forces fueling the projected $1.9 billion surplus. And over the last year, state revenues grew significantly while spending remained low.
Gov. Brad Little has proposed a historic budget for Idaho’s four-year schools. But his proposal is just that: a proposal that will go before a skeptical Legislature.
Inside: Idaho’s four-year schools will probably have to increase tuition next year — in order to cover employee raises, limit staff turnover and compete with the private sector.
A record-shattering surplus sets high expectations for education spending and tax relief. No one is going to walk away completely satisfied.
Legislative budget-writers spent two hours on the state superintendent’s K-12 budget request. Election-year politics — and a record-setting $1.9 billion surplus — will complicate their job.