Budget writers are now wrestling over the spending plan for public schools in fiscal year 2014, aiming to dedicate some $1.3 billion in taxpayer funding to the state's 115 districts for the coming 12-month period.
Debate Monday focused on competing plans, one to spend about $30 million more in 2014 — a proposal that's 2 percent above the previous year, and that mirrors Gov. "C.L. "Butch" Otter's wishes — and a slightly more generous option that foresees spending about 2.2 percent more than 2013.
Idaho's public schools budget is easily the largest lawmakers will set — and one of their most-watched.
Budget analyst Paul Headlee, who advises the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, pointed out nearly half of the state's general fund will go to educate kids from kindergarten through 12th grades.