SHELLEY, Idaho - On Monday, Idaho's Joint Finance Appopriations Committee approved a 5.1 percent increase in the public education budget.
According to the state Department of Education, that budget includes teacher compensation, discretionary funding, professional development, classroom technology, school safety, and curriculum.
Shelley School District superintendent Dr. Bryan Jolley said he was glad to see an increase. However, he has concerns about the state dictating how districts use the money. The budget includes $12.15 million for professional development and of that, $9.4 million would go to school districts for training, including Idaho Core Standards.
"Would they (the teachers) like more training? Possibly, but we have to have them in the classroom at some point. I can train them all day long, but I need them in front of students," said Jolley.
Jolley hopes that money may be used for adding coaches into each school to work with teachers.
Several Shelley High school teachers agree that they'd like to see more budget decisions in district's hands.
"It's like a Common Core question: If your district can show evidence that this is where we need it and this is how we are going to use that and send that to the state and say 'OK, you're OK'd.' Show evidence that hey, this is where we need the money, and this is where we don't need the money because this is what we have done. We can make that an SBAC (Smarter-Balanced Assessment Consortium) question," said Judy Smith, curriculum and test coordinator for Shelley School District.
The budget still needs House and Senate approval before taking effect July 1.