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School’s chief seeks 8 percent budget boost from lawmakers

Posted: 10:03 AM, Jan 24, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-24 12:03:33-05

BOISE — Idaho’s superintendent of public instruction is asking state budget writers for an eight percent increase -- to about $2 billion -- for fiscal year 2020, to educate more than 300,000 students in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Sherri Ybarra, in making her request Thursday, told lawmakers on the Legislature's budget-setting Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee that her agency is in the business of “human elevation.”

Idaho's public schools are the largest part of the state's expenses, representing about fifty percent.

School officials say about five percent of the eight percent requested increase is to pay for estimated increases to school expenditures, required by law.

Ybarra told lawmakers the two main concerns she hears when traveling the state are a shortage of teachers and school safety.

Lawmakers will decide on the budget request in the coming weeks.

(by Associated Press)