The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) will dig down into the details of Idaho’s education budget starting next Monday, March 3. JFAC will weigh recommendations from the House and Senate Education Committees, the Governor’s office, the Department of Education and other stakeholders in determining how much will be spent on public education and where those funds will be allocated.
The voices of Idaho citizens are included in the decision making process, and there is still time for you to share your opinion on funding priorities. But you need to act quickly! You can contact JFAC members by phone, e-mail or mail.
Public education in Idaho has been negatively impacted by budget-slashing during the recession, with students, teachers and communities bearing the brunt of the cuts. With the economy now recovering, it is time for lawmakers to reinvest in and recommit to education.
The IEA encourages you to communicate with committee members about the importance of education funding. In particular, please express your support for these two key components that can begin the process of restoring Idaho’s public education budget.
- Restore $35 million in operational/discretionary funding, as recommended by the Governor’s Task Force on Improving Education.
- Increase the base salary of teachers and educators by at least 1%. Teachers have been forced to make significant sacrifices in recent years, and our professional educators deserve a professional wage. Governor Otter’s budget proposal included a 2% raise for state employees, but not for educators, so let legislators know that our dedicated teachers should receive a similar increase.