The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee moved forward on most aspects of the education budget today, setting an FY 15 budget that reflects an overall 5.1% increase ($66 million) in general fund appropriation revenues for K-12 schools, electing to go beyond the increase proposed by Governor Otter. Among the highlights in the JFAC budgets were a 1% raise to the base salary appropriation schedule for teachers, an increase in the minimum teacher salary, funding for leadership premiums, and a partial restoration of operational funds cut during the recession. Here are additional details of the JFAC education budgets.
- A 1% increase in base salary appropriation for teachers (moving the base salary from $23,123 to $23,354) and an increase in the minimum teacher salary from $31,000 to $31,750. An attempt by Reps. Shirley Ringo (D-Moscow) and Phylis King (D-Boise) to push for a 1.5% increase on the base with increases spread across all levels to better reward more experienced teachers was rejected by the joint committee.
- A 1% increase in base salary appropriation for classified and administrators.
- $15.8 million to fund teacher leadership premiums.
- A 12% increase ($35 million) in operational funding to begin restoring some $82 million in operational/discretionary funding that was cut during the recession. This increases the funding from $20,000 to $22,401 per classroom unit.
- $12.25 million for professional development, including training for the Idaho Core Standards and gifted education program.
- $8 million in classroom technology funding and $5 million in one-time funding for curriculum materials.