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Idaho schools chief pitches education boost to lawmakers

Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra is asking state budget writers to raise the public school budget 6.8 percent next year.

The Spokesman-Review reports Ybarra said Thursday the biggest portion of her proposed increase would go the ongoing effort to raise teachers’ salaries.

Ybarra wants $46.6 million for teacher salaries, which would boost pay for new teachers to $35,800 a year for fiscal year 2018-2019.

If approved, Idaho’s total public school funding would bump up nearly $114 million more than what lawmakers allocated this year for a total of $1.78 billion.

She also boasted that her budget doesn’t include any new initiatives or new line items after receiving input from education stakeholders.

The Joint Finance Appropriations Committee will begin setting state agency budgets in mid-February. While the proposals will still need to pass the Senate and House, budgets rarely change once set by JFAC.

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