Time is running short, but you can still let the members of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) know your opinions about education and funding priorities before they finalize the state’s public education budget. JFAC is scheduled to begin budget setting for education on Monday, March 3.
Forty four people, including several IEA members spoke at a rare JFAC public hearing on February 14, but there are still opportunities to weigh in with legislators on education funding priorities. 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 your legislator 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.