BOISE, Idaho — State Superintendent Sherri Ybarra presented her budget request for both K-12 schools and for the state department of education at this morning’s Joint Finance Appropriations Committee meeting inside the statehouse.
“I’m here to advocate for additional investments in education given the record surplus that we are fortunate to have as Idahoans this year," Ybarra said.
During her presentation, she stated she is looking for around $2.2 billion for K-12 schools next year, which is lower than Gov. Brad Little’s proposed increase he unveiled last week at $2.3 billion.
During her budget request, Ybarra also discussed the impacts that the pandemic has had on education over the last two years.
“We have limited data at this point, and it’s a little too early to draw conclusions from the data that we do have. The impacts of the pandemic were not as severe as we thought they would be, but we did see some declines in some of our statewide indicators of student achievement,” Ybarra said.
Her main focus is optional all-day kindergarten for at-risk students across the state — requesting $39.3 million. Last week, Little proposed $46.7 million dollars toward the same goal, and lawmakers have hinted that will be up for discussion this session.
She also proposed a salary increase for classified salaries of 6.9% which was lower than Little’s 10% raise for teachers.
JFAC will start writing education budget bills on February 18th according to the schedule. You can watch the Monday morning meeting here.