KIFI Top Story

Otter focuses on education

Otter focuses on education

BOISE, Idaho - Education dominated the State of the State address in Boise on Monday.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter even put education above tax cuts.

He talked a lot about funding recommendations from the education task force, but he also wants to change the way the state looks at education.

"The standard for Idaho's commitment to education excellence and workforce readiness can perhaps better be characterized as 'K-through-Career,'" he said, repeatedly mentioned improving higher education opportunities.

"I was happy that his No. 1 focus was education," said Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-Bannock County.

It's the expenses Otter worries about most. The Republican governor wants to see an additional $35 million be set aside for budget stabilization, $29 million for public education and $7 million for higher education stabilization.

Otter said savings is a priority, but so is sustainability of the education money spent.

"I don't want to get ... an unbalanced structural budget a year from now," said Otter after his speech.

But not all legislators think that's enough.

"We're not funding our schools enough yet," said Roy Lacey, D-Bannock County. "If you multiply what's he's giving the K12, it's not coming up times five – because he wants to do it in five years – it does not come up to the amount … that he has asked for."

Also notable in Otter's speech was the possibility of an outreach program in Idaho Falls from College of Southern Idaho "to help ensure affordable educational (opportunities) beyond high school for more of our citizens."
We are scheduled to interview State Superintendent of Education Tom Luna on education funding Tuesday and will have what he has to say on Local News 8 at 6.

comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular Stories

Top Stories