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Idaho budget-writers OK nearly 6 percent public schools hike

Idaho’s legislative budget writers unanimously approved a nearly 6 percent increase to the state’s public school budget on Monday.

That would bring the public schools budget for fiscal year 2019, which starts in July, to about $1.78 billion.

The budget includes a boost in discretionary funding for school districts, something requested by State Schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra, who has said school districts should be able to direct their funds to their own top-priority needs.

It also increases funding for classroom technology by $10.5 million. But the bulk of the increase – nearly $42 million – is going toward the state’s program for boosting teacher salaries through a “career ladder plan.”

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