Ybarra: Hike education budget by 7.5 percent

Posted at 12:33 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 14:33:03-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho schools chief Sherri Ybarra is proposing a 7.5 percent hike in public school funding.

The increase would go toward more money for teacher salaries and restoring funding to pre-recession levels for

Idaho's 115 school districts to spend on paying insurance, utilities or other operations costs.

Ybarra presented her budget to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Thursday. She is requesting spending $1.5 billion for fiscal 2017, which is nearly $110 million more than this year's budget.

The budget would add 13.9 percent, amounting to nearly $98 million, to help boost teacher salaries as part of a five year plan Idaho lawmakers approved last year.

Ybarra, the state superintendent of public instruction, offered a slightly lower proposal than Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's budget outline that calls for 7.9 percent increase in public school funding.