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Late-Session Bill Fills Gap in 2022 Education Funding, Averts Layoffs in Some Districts

April 5, 2024

Late-session legislation finally securing funding originally earmarked for public schools during a 2022 special legislative session overwhelmingly passed both houses of the Idaho Legislature this week.

House Bill 763, brought forward by State Superintendent Debbie Critchfield, sends $105 million in discretionary funding to Idaho school districts and fills a budget gap that was leading many districts to discuss laying off employees. Securing that funding for school districts was one of Critchfield’s primary objectives for the 2024 legislative session.

“Laying off educators is bad for everyone – especially students and, of course, the educators themselves,” said IEA President Layne McInelly. “IEA members are very thankful for Superintendent Critchfield’s diligent work to get this funding, approved by lawmakers more than 17 months ago, in school districts’ hands. With it, we know more of our classrooms will be led by dedicated, professional educators in the next school year.”


By sending discretionary funding to the school districts, lawmakers have given local school officials maximum flexibility to meet the needs of their students and employees. Educator contract negotiations between school districts and their local IEA affiliate will begin soon in many school districts if they haven’t already.

“This funding, promised back in 2022, ensures school districts have the resources they need to provide their educators with the wages, benefits and working conditions they need to provide the best education possible to Idaho students,” McInelly said.

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