State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna presented his revised budget request for next year to the Joint Financial Action Committee (JFAC) this morning. The request includes a 1% salary increase for teachers and $16 million for teacher leadership bonuses, which he told the committee members would be distributed by local districts much like differential pay was dealt with this year. You may recall that Governor Otter did not include pay raises for teachers in his budget proposal.
Luna and JFAC Chair Dean Cameron also discussed the career ladders compensation formula recommended by the Governor’s Task Force on Education Excellence. While most education stakeholders appear to be in favor of the career ladders concept, details are yet to be worked out and implementation of career ladders is at least a full year away.[space line=”no”]
“The Superintendent’s budget proposal is a good start and we hope to see a good faith effort to increase the base salary of teachers”, said IEA President Penni Cyr in response to Luna’s proposed budget. “We encourage the legislature to put more than an additional 1% on the base while the career ladders formula is being developed. We support the concept of patience to ensure that the career ladders policy is effective, but the career ladders delay is not a viable reason to hold back salary increases for professional educators who have made significant sacrifices in recent years”.[space line=”no”]
Luna’s budget request included a 2% salary increase for administrators and education support professionals. Also included–$35 million to begin restoring $82.5 million in cuts to operational funding during the recession, $12.2 million in ongoing funding for professional development, $13.4 million for technology, and $2.2 million earmarked for school safety and security.
Overall, Luna’s $66.9 million budget request represents a 5.1% increase from 2013-14, compared to a 2.9% increase in the Governor’s proposed budget.[space line=”no”]
“Idaho’s children deserve the best”, said Luna. “A world class education is more essential today than ever before, and we can make a world class education a reality for Idaho students”.