Thursday, January 26, 2012

Superintendent Luna Proposes Increase for Public Schools, Fully Funding Teacher Salaries

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna proposed increasing state funding for Idaho’s public schools by nearly 5 percent for the upcoming school year. The increases will include full funding for teacher salaries and the Students Come First reforms.

Superintendent Luna presented his proposed FY2013 Public Schools Budget to the Joint Finance-Appropriation Committee (JFAC) this morning.

“This year, I propose increased funding for Idaho’s public schools by nearly 5 percent," Superintendent Luna said this morning.

"Through this budget, we can fully fund teacher salaries, add $38 million for pay-for-performance bonuses, and provide another $15 million for advanced technology to support teachers as they work to raise achievement and provide equal access for all students,” he said.

Last year, Idaho passed comprehensive education reform known as Students Come First. Through these laws, the state reformed its education system and began spending the money it currently has differently and investing in strategic areas to make every classroom a 21st Century Classroom, ensure every student has access to a highly effective teacher every year in school, and give parents immediate access to understandable information about their child’s school and district.

The FY2013 Public Schools Budget continues to fund key components of Students Come First, such as the Dual Credit for Early Completers Program and advanced classroom technology in every classroom.

In addition, it provides funding for two other major components of Students Come First: pay-for-performance bonuses for Idaho teachers and laptops for every high school teacher and principal.

Superintendent Luna also requested a 2.38 percent increase in the state funding for teacher and administrator salaries. This increase will ensure there is no decrease in teacher salaries for the upcoming school year.

Here are the highlights of Superintendent Luna’s proposed FY2013 Public Schools Budget:

4.7 percent general fund increase for Idaho’s public schools, which is in line with Governor Otter’s budget recommendation

$4 million to fund growth in student enrollment

$19.4 million, or 2.38 percent, increase in state funding for teacher and administrator salaries to offset the adjustment that was scheduled for FY2013

$38.8 million in pay-for-performance bonuses for Idaho teachers

$9 million in advanced classroom technology for all grades

$2.5 million to begin implementing the one-to-one initiative in high schools by providing a laptop to every high school teacher and principal

$4 million for professional development to help teachers integrate technology in the classroom


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  2. You know, it's only a matter of time before all these grande school kids have laptops. You know what I think? I think it's GREAT! Technology is advancing at an exponential rate; why not prepare are children to advance with it? Before long, the children of tomorrow should all be computer savvy and ready to master the next wave of technology.

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