Idaho lawmakers reach deal on education budget

Idaho lawmakers strike deal on public schools budget; hearing on Wednesday morning

Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho lawmakers reached a deal on a $1.3 billion public schools budget that's delayed the Legislature's planned adjournment, agreeing on a 2014 spending plan whose numbers are unchanged from one that failed on the Senate floor last Wednesday.

This new budget includes only minor tweaks to the original plan, but clears the way for the 2013 session to end Thursday.

The changes add new conditions on two disputed funding measures: Teacher merit pay and $3 million funding for pilot technology projects.

Some argue the budget still spends too much on teacher salaries, rather than helping districts cover other necessary costs.

But Sen. Dean Mortimer of Idaho Falls said he was unable to win support for changing that.

Idaho School Board Association Executive Director Karen Echeverria was pleased with this final version.

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