In making a case for his education overhaul plan, Superintendent Tom Luna has repeatedly said it will take a decade to refill the $200 million budget hole Idaho has dug for its schools since 2009.
He's not even close. An Idaho Education Association analysis shows that if the Legislature were to increase general fund appropriations by 4 percent annually – the level Luna has used – the gap would be bridged in four years.
If growth is 3 percent a year, it would take six years. At a modest 2 percent a year, it would take eight years. The attached chart shows the numbers.
Of course, if lawmakers do not have the will to avoid further budget cuts to our children's education, the timetable will change. But the IEA analysis points out an instance where this hastily proposed plan is based on faulty math. “Mr. Luna is insisting that we simply can't do any better for our children,” said IEA President Sheri Wood. “We don't believe that's true.”